La Jolla crime and public safety news: Minister attacked, swimmer rescued, coronavirus numbers, blotter

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

St. James minister attacked during service

A minister at St. James-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in La Jolla was attacked by an unexpected visitor during a recent Sunday service.

Just after 10 a.m. July 11, the Rev. Rebecca Dinovo, minister for congregational life, was in the midst of her service when a young, well-dressed woman unknown to the congregation entered the building at 743 Prospect St.

“She was acting distressed, crying, yelling and created a disruption,” Dinovo said. “She left the building and then returned and was quiet and calm. I was reading the gospel story and she walked right up to me and I tried to speak to her. I asked if we could help her and she said no. I asked if we could pray for her and she started calling me obscene names. She pulled her hand back and hit me right in the face. It wasn’t a punch, but more than a slap. I felt knuckles and heard ringing in my ears.”

Soon after, the woman started pulling at Dinovo’s hair and shouting. Parishioners stepped in to separate them.

“It was dramatic,” Dinovo said. “When our congregation tried to escort her out of the building, she started thrashing and trying to bite people. She stayed in that state for 45 minutes until police came.” One parishioner was bitten “pretty severely,” Dinovo said.

Dinovo, who has been with St. James-by-the-Sea for five years, said a retired police officer among the congregants said he believed the woman was on narcotics.

“I bear no ill will toward her. I’m more just worried about her,” Dinovo said. “It was troubling to see someone so tormented. We prayed for her right away and continue to pray for her.”

Dinovo said she struggles more with the intrusion into the church. “It was an assault on our safe space,” she said. “It made us wonder where we failed in our safety [protocols]. So I’ve been really sad and concerned. We had to have a meeting about processing trauma. It’s been really hard.”

Unconscious bodysurfer rescued at Windansea Beach

Local swimmers assisted in the rescue of a bodysurfer at Windansea Beach who was not breathing and pulseless when he was pulled to shore.

Around 3 p.m. July 17, San Diego lifeguards saw beach-goers pulling someone from the ocean and ran to assist.

“[The victim] sustained a head injury after his head made contact with the sand while bodysurfing,” said city spokeswoman Monica Munoz. When the man was pulled from the water, “lifeguards started CPR and rescue breathing, and within a few minutes, he was awake,” Munoz said.

The man was breathing on his own when he was taken to a hospital. Munoz said she didn’t know whether he is a local resident or a visitor to the area.

Witness Valerie O’Sullivan said in an email to the La Jolla Light that she and others saw the man “get slammed by a wave while playing in the shore surf.”

At first, she said, “he was lifeless and his face was blue.” She said a man ran out fully clothed and grabbed him, while other men helped get him out of the water.

“The team of lifeguards, quick-acting men who dragged him out of the waves, paramedics, all who attended to him worked courageously and selflessly,” O’Sullivan said.

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 July 13, ZIP code 92037 had 1,679 registered cases (up by 30 from the previous count) and 3,878.9 per 100,000. ZIP code is the code of residence, which may not be the location of exposure. The reporting period was shorter than normal, but the reason was unavailable.

The county also posts a list by ZIP code of the number of residents who have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Through July 13, 32,790 residents of the 92037 ZIP code had received a vaccine.

Police blotter

Additional details from San Diego police were not immediately available.

July 1

Petty theft from building: 800 block Turquoise Street, 10 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft: 1100 block Prospect Street, 3:30 p.m.

July 3

Open alcohol containers where prohibited: 6900 block Neptune Place, 12:20 and 12:30 p.m.

July 5

Felony grand theft: 6000 block Folsom Drive, 2:07 p.m.

July 6

Felony assault of elder or dependent adult: 700 block Sapphire Street, 1 p.m.

July 7

Felony vandalism: 1500 block Alta La Jolla Drive, 10:41 p.m.

July 9

Petty theft: 800 block Turquoise Street, 6:46 p.m.

July 10

Petty theft: 300 block Playa del Sur, 2 p.m.

July 11

Vehicle break-in/theft: 2100 block Vallecitos, 6:30 p.m.

July 12

Vehicle break-in/theft: 5500 block Bellevue Avenue, 3 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft: 5500 block Beaumont Avenue, 8 a.m.

July 13

Felony vandalism: 700 block Agate Street, 12:15 a.m.

Residential burglary: 1900 block Hypatia Way, 2:14 a.m.

Residential burglary: 2600 block Torrey Pines Road, 9 a.m.

Petty theft: 1000 block Turquoise Street, 11 p.m.

July 14

Felony grand theft: 5600 block La Jolla Boulevard, 2 p.m.

Felony vandalism: 1000 block Turquoise Street, 6:55 p.m.

July 15

Felony vehicle theft: 1900 block Paseo Dorado, 1 p.m.

July 17

Felony grand theft: 1100 block Torrey Pines Road, 11:50 a.m.

Simple battery: 6900 block La Jolla Boulevard, 4:38 p.m.

July 18

Vehicle break-in/theft: 1100 block Via Carolina, 2:30 a.m.

Driving under the influence (alcohol): 600 block Nautilus Street, 3:08 a.m.

July 19

Minor in possession of alcohol: 200 block Marine Street, 2:38 p.m.

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