La Jolla crime and public safety news: Sexual battery; fallen tree; coronavirus numbers; police blotter

To report a non-emergency crime, call the San Diego Police Department at (858) 484-3154. In an emergency, dial 911.
To report a non-emergency crime, call the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154. In an emergency, dial 911.

More charges for man accused in sexual battery cases, including in La Jolla

A man already accused of sexual battery in a series of North County incidents now faces charges stemming from several similar encounters in San Diego, including La Jolla, according to the city attorney’s office.

Ji Hoon Yong, 25, of Mira Mesa was charged with 14 misdemeanors — seven counts of sexual battery and seven counts of lewd conduct — stemming from incidents that San Diego city prosecutors said happened in stores between July 1 and Dec. 20 in La Jolla, Clairemont, Mira Mesa and Kearny Mesa.

Each situation was nearly identical, according to the city attorney’s office: Store surveillance videos show a man with his hands inside his pants, then grabbing a victim from behind and thrusting his pelvis into her backside.

“When confronted by victims, he nearly always apologized and said he had bumped into them by accident or he thought they were a friend,” the city attorney’s office said in a statement.

In one of the incidents — at a Ralphs supermarket in La Jolla on the Fourth of July — the man lost his shoes when he ran out of the store and the manager chased him, authorities said.

Yong has been jailed with bail set at $100,000 following his arrest earlier this month in connection with the North County cases. He is scheduled to go to trial March 3 in North County on 10 misdemeanor charges involving incidents that occurred between Dec. 20 and Jan. 4.

The defense attorney representing Yong in the North County cases declined to comment. — San Diego Union-Tribune and La Jolla Light staff

Tree crashes into house, uprooting gas line

A tree fell into a house around 6:30 a.m. Jan. 26 in the 9500 block of La Jolla Shores Drive, uprooting a gas line, authorities said.

No injuries were reported, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, and the scene was turned over to SDG&E for assessment and repairs.

“The [gas] line was exposed but not damaged,” said Sarah Prince, a spokeswoman for SDGE. Prince said the power company planned “to move the gas service line to another location,” untangling it from the tree root.

Prince was unable to confirm whether recent storms caused the tree to fall, but she added, “I know we’ve had some issues with fallen trees in that area; we’ve had these high winds.”

Coronavirus by the numbers

The San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency posts an updated list at 8 a.m. daily of coronavirus cases by ZIP code, including rates per 100,000 residents. Through Jan. 24, ZIP code 92037 had 1,214 registered cases (up by 74 from last week) and 2,804.7 per 100,000. ZIP code is the code of residence, which may not be the location of exposure.

Police blotter

Jan. 2

Vehicle break-in/theft: 5700 block Calle Miramar, 11:25 p.m.

Jan. 11

Fraud: 5400 block Waverly Avenue, 9:30 a.m.

Jan. 14

Commercial burglary: 6700 block Vista del Mar Avenue, 1:21 a.m.

Jan. 16

Fraud: 8200 block Prestwick Drive, 7 a.m.

Jan. 17

Petty theft: 800 block Turquoise Street, 5:35 p.m.

Jan. 18

Felony vehicle theft: 900 block Agate Street, 8 p.m.

Jan. 19

Felony carrying concealed weapon while active in criminal street gang: 5100 block La Jolla Boulevard, 2:09 p.m. A person matching the description of someone suspected of stealing lighters at a 7-Eleven store in Pacific Beach was pulled over and officers found a gun.

Tampering with vehicle: 5800 block Box Canyon Road, 6 p.m.

Tampering with vehicle: 1200 block Agate Street, 6 p.m.

Battery: 5500 block Chelsea Avenue, 7 p.m.

Jan. 20

Petty theft: 5400 block Candlelight Drive, noon

Petty theft: 5700 block La Jolla Boulevard, 4:30 p.m.

Felony vandalism: 400 block Colima Street, 11 p.m.

Jan. 21

Vehicle break-in/theft: 1000 block Loring Street, 2 a.m.

Drunk in public: 5800 block Soledad Mountain Road, 7:10 p.m.

Residential burglary: 7700 block Sierra Mar Drive, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 24

Felony grand theft: 1000 block Prospect Street, 2:34 p.m.

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