Crime and Public-Safety News: April 12

Seriously! Don’t text and drive

Observing April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, San Diego Police Department will join law enforcement throughout the State to step up enforcement along with awareness efforts to discourage distracted driving.

Preliminary 2017 data also shows nearly 22,000 drivers were involved in distracted- driving collisions in California.

San Diego is deploying extra traffic officers from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 13, in locations with higher numbers of traffic collisions. Violators will be stopped and cited with fines set at $162 for first-time offenders. This campaign is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Police remind drivers that if you receive a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location, but never on a freeway. Once you are safely off the road, it is safe to text.

Village condo complex robbed twice one day

A condominium complex on the 200 block of Prospect Street was robbed twice in one day: first at 12:55 p.m. and then at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 7. In the first incident, bicycles were stolen from a parking garage along with clothing and other recreational equipment from a storage locker. In the second incident, bicycles were stolen from a parking garage. Police say it is “possible” the same suspect carried out both thefts, but there is not a suspect description so they cannot confirm.

Another victim accuses eatery owner of assault

A fifth victim has come forward to accuse Voce Del Mare owner Daniel Dorado of sexual assault, leading to two new charges being filed, 10News reports. Dorado has been charged with at least 14 felonies, including three counts of sexual battery by restraint, and three counts of rape of an unconscious person, according to Deputy District Attorney Katherine Flaherty.

Dorado pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance April 2. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Voce Del Mare is at 5721 La Jolla Blvd. in Bird Rock.

Woman punched by unknown assailant

A woman staying in the Hotel La Jolla in La Jolla Shores was stunned after she was punched in the face by an unknown male suspect, 11 a.m. April 2. Police report the suspect knocked on the victim’s door, and when she opened it, the suspect punched her in the mouth. The suspect fled the scene and is not in custody.

Drunk driver ordered to pay $230K

A drunk driver who rear-ended a car in La Jolla, injuring two women, has been ordered to pay more than $230,000 in restitution to the victims, The San Diego Union Tribune reports.

Jonah Hamilton pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI in December 2015 and was placed on five years’ probation.

The injured driver was Amy Ruminski. Her mother, Ellen Bowen, was a front-seat passenger. Ruminski’s sons, ages 10 and 12, were riding in the back of the Mazda but were not hurt.

Both women were injured when Hamilton smashed his SUV into the rear of Ruminski’s Mazda CX-9 on La Jolla Boulevard in 2015.

Hamilton admitted he had been drinking vodka that morning after taking prescription medication and was going to the beach to sleep it off when he ran into the Mazda, according to the City Attorney’s Office. Hamilton had a blood alcohol level of 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit.

Ruminski struck her head against the steering wheel, which caused extreme migraines and painful injuries to her neck and lower back. Bowen suffered an umbilical hernia as a result of trauma to her abdomen caused by the seat belt.

Police Blotter

March 28

Fraud, 2400 block Azure Coast Drive, noon

April 1

Grand theft (unspecified), 7600 block Fay Ave., 11 a.m.

April 2

Residential burglary, 7500 block Herschel Ave. noon

April 6

Petty theft, 900 block Loring Street, 8 p.m.

April 7

Assault, a suspect threatened to kill his sister with a knife, while in the family home, 5000 block La Jolla Blvd., 9 p.m.

April 8

Commercial burglary, an unknown suspect(s) forced entry and took several items from Everyday California, 2200 block Avenida de la Playa, 3:40 a.m.

<QR>— Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon<QR>

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