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Chief’s Community Update
Chief's Community Update

June 24, 2020 

 

This weekly update will include information about the recent efforts of the police department and provide you with information regarding recent incidents, crime trends, and community resource information.  Please take a moment to search our website and take advantage of the features.

Recent Events: 

All Fireworks are illegal in East Palo Alto!

Neighbors are experiencing a high volume of illegal discharges of fireworks and we are constantly working to locate these individuals responsible. This problem is not unique to our community as this is a trend that has spread across the country.  The theory is that COVID has resulted in the cancellation of all public firework events so people are creating their own show. A common practice for those violating the law is to step out of their home discharge a small number of fireworks and retreat into their home.  Within a few minutes in the same neighborhood the same thing happens but from a different house.  We need the community to get involved with identifying these homes and individuals.

The impact of this is harmful to the community as it negatively affects a vast group of people and animals;

>PTSD

>Pets

>Psychiatric issues

>Grass and structure fires

>Interrupting people’s ability to sleep

>Injuries

We are investigating the information the community provides, but we must do it while still responding to the other types of Calls for Service.  This can result in a delay in our arriving on scene, but we are doing the best we can with the 3-4 officers we have on duty.

Most of the firework discharges are classified as misdemeanor crimes so we must catch them in possession of the fireworks.  Because the crime is classified as a misdemeanor, the courts will not issue search warrants so that makes it a challenge to make an arrest.  We are committed to doing the best we can with the resources we have and must follow the law.  I know this is frustrating for those of you impacted but keep the faith.  The bigger picture solution is to have the community come together and change the attitude of those that thinks it’s acceptable to engage in illegal conduct rationalizing that it’s okay just because it involves the use of fireworks.

Please call the police at (650) 321-1112 or 9-1-1 to report the discharge of fireworks.  You can also call or text information to our anonymous tip line at (650) 407-6792. 

Statement from Chief Pardini:

As the Chief of the East Palo Alto Police Department, I must say that I was disgusted at the video showing the unnecessary force and lack of care and compassion for Mr. George Floyd.  Everything I watched goes completely against the values of the East Palo Alto Police Department and I immediately directed my officers to watch the video.  They were appalled by the cruel and inhumane treatment of Mr. Floyd.  We continue working with our community-based organizations and the youth in the community to carry out our mission statement of providing quality police services, preserving the peace, and establishing a safe environment through mutual respect and trust.

Crime and Arrests:

6/16/2020                              4:50PM                      1800 Block of Clarke Avenue

Officers were dispatched to an apartment in the 1800 block of Clarke Avenue to investigate the report of fight between a father and son. Officers contacted the victim who told them he had been struck by his father, 43-year-old Arthur Serrato, with a 3ft piece of wood multiple times. While talking to the victim officers observed multiple lacerations and bruises. They entered the apartment and contacted Mr. Serrato as he exited the shower and arrested him.  The Officers obtained a statement from him in which he denied attacking his son and striking him with the piece of wood. The officers transported Mr. Serrato to the San Mateo County jail in Redwood City where he was booked. 

 6/17/2020                             12:09PM                    1900 Block of Pulgas Avenue 

Officers responded to a home on the 1900 block of Pulgas Avenue to investigate the report of a fight between a male and a female. The officers contacted the female victim who told them she had been assaulted by her boyfriend, 31-year-old East Palo Alto resident Zachery Berti. She told the officers that during an argument, Mr. Berti put a shirt over her nose and mouth and applied enough pressure to make it difficult for her to breath. The victim was able to break free from Mr. Berti and he fled to scene. While searching the area, the officers located Mr. Berti and detained him. In a post Miranda statement, Mr. Berti denied attacking the victim and officers transported Mr. Berti to the San Mateo County jail in Redwood City where he was booked. 

06/19/2020                            9:55PM                      1200 Block of Laurel Avenue

Officers responded to a home in the 1200 block of Laurel Avenue to investigate the report of a victim who was attacked by his brother with a box cutter. The officers contacted the victim, who was bleeding from a large cut on his hand and he told the officers he was in an argument with his brother, 49-year-old East Palo Alto resident Ricardo Gonzalez that turned into a physical altercation. During the altercation, he felt his hand get cut and saw that it was bleeding. The officers contacted Mr. Gonzales and he told officers that he had cut the victim with a box cutter during a fight because the victim was overpowering him. The victim was transported to Stanford Hospital for treatment and the officers transported Mr. Gonzales to the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City where he was booked.  

Beat Meetings:  

Due to concerns related to the spread of the COVID-19 (Corona virus) Beat meetings have been suspended until further notice.  If you are a participant in the monthly Beat meetings, please contact Community Service Officer Elizabeth Lam with any questions, concerns or requests for assistance related to non-urgent issues.  If you need immediate assistance from the police department, please call 9-1-1 for emergencies and (650) 321-1112 for non-emergencies.  To reach CSO Lam, you can call her at (650) 853-5939 or email her at .

Community Resource:  The County of San Mateo facilitates a public notification system to inform community members regarding incidents that may affect them.  The system known as SMC ALERT is an alert notification system used to immediately contact people during urgent or emergency situations. You have the option of setting the alerts to send emergency and non-emergency text and voice messages to a variety of communication options:

  • email accounts
  • cell phones, smartphones, tablets
  • voice messages to landline phones (home & work)

The SMC Alert system is free, but please check your communication plans that incur you charges for service so you can determine if there are any secondary costs associated with you receiving the alerts.

To access the system, please visit https://hsd.smcsheriff.com/smcalert

How to make an anonymous tip to the police:

When providing information to the police, we need specific information about the crime or criminal.  As an example, if you are reporting someone for dealing drugs, we need to know where and when they are selling the drugs, a detailed description of them (white female, blue jeans, red jacket, baseball cap), any description of a vehicle, and any other information you have about the crime.  While I don’t expect you to jeopardize your safety to get this information it is very important for us if we make an arrest.  Not only will your tip provide us with accurate information about the suspect, we are able to serve as a witness to the crime and we can testify in court.  Please use these options for providing an anonymous tip.

You can make an anonymous tip to the police by calling or texting to (650) 409-6792.

 

 

Crime Trends:

Theft from cars and homes: Cases of suspects entering cars and residence through unlocked windows or doors when the owners are absent are increasing.  The suspects often search through the car or residence and take small items of value (cash, jewelry, electronic devices) that are easy to sell.  Please lock your car and residence when you leave.  If you want to leave a window ajar for ventilation, it is recommended that you use a locking device to prevent access.  If you notice anyone suspicious loitering in the area, please call us at (650) 321-1112 or 9-1-1 in case of emergency.