La Jolla Crime and Public-Safety News: Aug. 1 - Construction worker killed at UCSD; weekly police blotter


Construction worker killed at UC San Diego

A construction worker was killed while working on a UC San Diego campus construction project July 25, and three others were injured. According to the San Diego County Coroner’s office, 32-year-old Sergio Cruz was struck in the head by falling rebar and transported by ambulance to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla where he was found to have severe head injuries. Despite resuscitative efforts, his death was pronounced.

BBB: 5 scams target college students

In August, almost 20 million students will either begin college or return to university. Many of these students are leaving home for the first time and will have to face new challenges on their own. According to the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2018 Scam Tracker Risk Report, younger adults, ages 18 to 24, are the most susceptible and vulnerable targets.

The five riskiest scams scholars should be aware of are:

1) Employment Scams: It is easy for students to get excited when they receive unsolicited job offers mentioning “no experience necessary,” “work from home” or a “high pay.” However, these offers are almost always too good to be true. If asked for any personal or banking information and offered an on-the-spot job, exercise caution and visit to determine an employer’s trustworthiness.

2) Fake Checks: When depositing a check from an unknown entity, refrain from spending it until the check has been verified. Be immediately suspicious of overpayments and never wire or send money to someone you do not know.

3) Online Purchase Scams: This may occur when consumers go online and find a much wanted book or school supplies offered at a huge discount. The student will place an order through the website but never receive the purchased items. Students must look for the “s” at the end of “https” to verify a site’s security and research all businesses at before making a purchase.

4) Roommate & Rental Scams: These are particularly prevalent through online classified websites. Fake “roommates” offer to provide rent upfront, often in the form of a check or money order, despite living out of town. Similar to the fake check scam, the student will receive a payment, higher than required, be asked to cash the check and wire back the difference. Unfortunately, the original check or money order will bounce and they will be held responsible for any money transferred. Students should meet with roommates in person and never wire money to a stranger.

The rental scam may occur when students search for housing off-campus. Some rental properties posted online are not real. Making a visit to the rental, before making any deposits or using a reputable rental company can help avoid potential fraud.

5) Student Loan Scam: Students should not pay a fee for help in finding money for college, as this information is provided by the government. Scammers may also target those graduating with loans, promising debt forgiveness and lowered interest rates. Do not pay up front, fall for promises of immediate relief, debt cancellation or believe claims of a special connection with federal student loan programs. The U.S. Department of Education provides help for free at 1 (800) 433-3243.

Families file claims for fatal E. coli outbreak at Fair

Three families who were affected by the E. coli outbreak linked to the San Diego County Fair have filed the first government tort claims against the 22nd District Agricultural Association (22nd DAA), the entity that runs the Fair. The Gomez Trial Attorneys firm and national E. coli lawyer Ron Simon have joined forces to represent the families of Jedediah Cabezuela, a 2-year-old who died of E. coli poisoning; Christiano Lopez, who was hospitalized for 12 days due to life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome; and the family of Ryan Sadrabadi. All three children contracted the illness after attending the San Diego County Fair in June, 2019.

The 22nd DAA hosted the San Diego County Fair at The Del Mar Fairgrounds from May 31 to July 4. Among the attractions at the Fair were various livestock exhibits, which permitted fair-goers to pet animals. On June 28, health officials from the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency (HHS) announced four confirmed E. coli cases linked to Fair animal contact. The outbreak pathogen was identified as shiga toxin-producing E. coli 0157:H7. As of July 29, HHS has confirmed 11 cases of E. coli O157:H7 from exposure at the Fair. Most victims of the outbreak were children between the ages of 2 and 13. Health officials are still investigating and testing environmental samples taken from the Fair.

Police Blotter

July 7

Open container in park, 6900 block Neptune Place, 11:15 a.m.

Petty theft, 8200 block La Verda, 1:30 p.m.

July 11

Possession of open container while driving, 6500 block La Jolla Blvd., 11:41 p.m.

July 13

Felony vandalism ($400 or more), 5000 block La Jolla Blvd., 12:01 a.m.

Grand theft over $950, 5000 block La Jolla Blvd., 10:50 a.m.

July 14

Fraud, 5600 block Rutgers Road, noon

July 15

Felony possession of controlled substance, 2200 block Torrey Pines Road, 11:47 a.m.

Vandalism ($400 or more), 5400 block Coral Reef Ave., 2 p.m.

July 18

DUI drug, causing bodily injury, 700 block Loring St., 2:49 a.m.

July 19

Open container in park, 3100 block Ocean Blvd., 12:35 p.m.

Felony vehicle theft, Eads Avenue at Pearl Street, 6 p.m.

July 20

Vandalism, 7400 block La Jolla Blvd., 1:17 a.m.

July 21

Vandalism, 300 block Bonair Street, 7:19 a.m.

Petty theft, 8300 block Camino del Oro, 12:55 p.m.

Possession of controlled substance, 8100 block Camino del Sol, 5:30 p.m.

July 22

Vandalism, 8200 block Gilman Drive, 9:20 a.m.

Felony vehicle theft, Camino del Oro at El Paseo Grande, 3:30 p.m.

Felony vehicle theft, 7500 block Eads Ave., 11:45 p.m.

July 23

Residential burglary, 5000 block La Jolla Blvd., 12:03 a.m.

Vehicle theft, 8300 block Camino del Oro, 8:30 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 600 block Tourmaline St., 11:45 a.m.

Petty theft, 7800 block El Paseo Grande, 8 p.m.

Vehicle theft, 400 block Sea Ridge Drive, 8 p.m.

July 24

Shoplifting, 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 7:54 p.m.

July 25

Residential burglary, 1300 block Torrey Pines Road, 9:02 a.m.

Drunk in public, 7200 block Draper Ave., 12:12 a.m.

July 27

Felony vandalism, 7400 block Girard Ave., 11:58 a.m.

July 28

Commercial burglary, 600 block Pearl St., 3:30 a.m.

DUI: Drugs, 6900 block La Jolla Blvd., 9:03 a.m.

Vehicle theft, 7700 block Girard Ave., 11 a.m.

DUI: Alcohol, 4900 block Dawes St., 4:17 p.m.

Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon from police and other local reports