La Jolla crime and public safety news: Man sentenced in 2019 beating; coronavirus numbers; police 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.

Man sentenced to nearly 20 years for La Jolla resident’s beating

A man was sentenced Aug. 23 to nearly 20 years in prison for a financially motivated attack on a La Jolla resident who was tied up and beaten in his garage.

Robert Whitaker, 59, pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of kidnapping, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon stemming from the June 12, 2019, attack, which prosecutors said was committed in an attempt to get money from the victim. Other charges, including a torture count, were dismissed as a result of Whitaker’s plea.

According to testimony in Whitaker’s 2019 preliminary hearing, Whitaker was living with a woman who was the victim’s next-door neighbor on Mar Avenue.

San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Kristie Nikoletich said Whitaker — who worked as a construction contractor — was in dire financial straits and was invited into the victim’s home under the guise of inspecting the residence.

Nikoletich said Whitaker forced the victim into the garage, where he bound the man’s wrists and struck him on the head and face about 30 times using his fists and a wooden club while demanding money and valuables, though no money was ever obtained.

Whitaker was arrested later that day. — City News Service

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 Aug. 18, ZIP code 92037 had 1,964 registered cases (up by 51 from the previous count) and 4,537.4 per 100,000. ZIP code is the code of residence, which may not be the location of exposure.

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 Aug. 18, 34,151 residents of the 92037 ZIP code had received a vaccine.

Police blotter

Further details were unavailable from San Diego police.

Aug. 5

Tampering with vehicle: 5000 block La Jolla Boulevard, 9:15 p.m.

Aug. 8

Fraud: 6400 block La Jolla Scenic Drive South, 8 a.m.

Aug. 12

Vandalism: 7300 block La Jolla Boulevard, 1:15 a.m.

Aug. 14

Petty theft: 8100 block Camino del Oro, 3 p.m.

Aug. 15

Vehicle break-in/theft: 5600 block La Jolla Hermosa Avenue, 1:10 p.m.

Drunk in public: 8400 block El Paseo Grande, 3:08 p.m.

Aug. 17

Minor in possession of alcohol: 200 block Marine Street, 3:10 p.m.

Aug. 19

Driving under the influence with prior convictions: La Jolla Boulevard at Turquoise Street, 3:37 a.m.

Felony vehicle theft: 2100 block Calle Frescota, 4:30 p.m.

Residential burglary: 500 block Westbourne Street, 9:10 p.m.

Petty theft: 1000 block Turquoise Street, 10:05 p.m.

Aug. 20

Vandalism: Marine Street at Monte Vista Avenue, 2:30 p.m.

Aug. 21

Residential burglary: 2200 block Calle Frescota, 9:30 a.m.

Aug. 23

Felony carrying concealed dirk or dagger: 7700 block Girard Avenue, 10:39 a.m.

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