Articles on this Page
- 12/23/18--18:07: _Woman Sexually Assa...
- 12/23/18--18:52: _Man Fakes Gun, Robs...
- 12/23/18--18:47: _S.D. Indonesian-Ame...
- 12/23/18--22:37: _Drunken Man Found o...
- 12/24/18--07:38: _Community Supports ...
- 12/24/18--07:53: _Track Santa Claus a...
- 12/24/18--05:50: _Trash Collection De...
- 12/24/18--05:56: _5 Video Clips You L...
- 12/24/18--07:15: _SR-67 Closed After ...
- 12/24/18--09:41: _Mega Millions Jackp...
- 12/24/18--13:14: _White Christmas Pos...
- 12/24/18--15:01: _What Are The Top 3 ...
- 12/24/18--16:22: _Deadly Two-Car Cras...
- 12/24/18--17:09: _Mid-City Shooting V...
- 12/24/18--17:42: _Homes on Wheels: Li...
- 12/24/18--18:06: _Taylor Swift Concer...
- 12/24/18--19:06: _#SantaFail: When Me...
- 12/24/18--21:51: _Patience Wearing Th...
- 12/24/18--22:19: _65-Year-Old Woman D...
- 12/24/18--23:13: _Santee Neighbors He...
- 12/23/18--18:07: Woman Sexually Assaulted in Broad Daylight in Mission Beach
- 12/23/18--18:52: Man Fakes Gun, Robs Kearny Mesa Subway Sandwich Shop
- 12/23/18--18:47: S.D. Indonesian-American Community Prays for Tsunami Victims
- 12/23/18--22:37: Drunken Man Found on Santee Sidewalk Dies While in Custody
- 12/24/18--07:38: Community Supports Road-Rage Victim's Family
- 12/24/18--07:53: Track Santa Claus as He Delivers Gifts Around the World
- 12/24/18--05:50: Trash Collection Delayed Due to Holiday
- 12/24/18--05:56: 5 Video Clips You Loved to Watch in 2018
- 12/24/18--07:15: SR-67 Closed After Pedestrian Struck by 5 Cars, Killed
- 12/24/18--09:41: Mega Millions Jackpot Hits $321M for Christmas Night Drawing
- 12/24/18--13:14: White Christmas Possible as Winter Storm Reaches San Diego
- 12/24/18--15:01: What Are The Top 3 Items Purchased on Christmas Day?
- 12/24/18--16:22: Deadly Two-Car Crash Closes SR-78 West of Ramona
- 12/24/18--17:09: Mid-City Shooting Victim Remembered As Loving Father, Friend
- 12/24/18--17:42: Homes on Wheels: Living in RVs on San Francisco Streets
- 12/24/18--18:06: Taylor Swift Concert Crasher ID'd as Suspect in Midway Fatal Beating
- 12/24/18--19:06: #SantaFail: When Meeting Santa Went Hilariously Wrong
- 12/24/18--21:51: Patience Wearing Thin Among Gov't Workers in San Diego
- 12/24/18--22:19: 65-Year-Old Woman Dies in Serra Mesa Crash
- 12/24/18--23:13: Santee Neighbors Help Paradise Fire Victims Recover
A man with outstanding warrants from Washington state was arrested Sunday morning for allegedly sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman in broad daylight, police said.
Philemon Shark, 40, was suspected of approaching the woman behind around 8:40 a.m. in the 3800 block of Bayside Lane and assaulting her, San Diego police Lt. Jason Weeden said.
Shark allegedly grabbed the victim, threw her to the ground, held her down and sexually assaulted her, he said.
"The victim screamed for help causing several residents to come to her aid," the lieutenant said. "After being forced off the victim, the suspect walked off."
Bystanders followed the suspect for several blocks but Shark eluded them until he was spotted by a resident about 45 minutes later hiding in a breezeway, Weeden said.
Shark was arrested on booked into county jail on multiple felony sexual assault charges.
He also has outstanding arrest warrants from Washington state, he said.
A man faked a gun and robbed a Subway sandwich shop in the Kearny Mesa area Sunday morning, police said.
The man, described as being in his 30s, walked into the store, simulated having a gun and demanded money from the clerk, San Diego police Officer Dino Delimitros said.
The suspect left with an undetermined amount of money before police arrived. He was wearing an orange construction vest, blue shirt and has a goatee, Delimitros said.
Anyone with information about the robbery was urged to contact SDPD Robbery Unit at (619) 531-2299 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
As the search continues for survivors and victims of the deadly tsunami in Indonesia, the Indonesian-American community in San Diego on Sunday is praying for their homeland.
Just a couple of days before Christmas, worshipers at the San Diego Woori Community Church are looking forward to time with family, but it is also a somber day, as they pray for tsunami victims in Indonesia.
“I was shocked because it’s close to me,” Pastor Kalvin Budiman said. “I know some people who went to the area and were victims."
He received news last night that members of his home church were vacationing in the area devastated by the tsunami.
“They told me that there were four people who perished because of the tsunami that happened,” he said.
The tsunami hit on Saturday night during a busy holiday weekend. Scientists believe it was caused by an underwater landslide at the Anak Krakatau volcano.
On Sunday morning, the extent of the damage was clear: homes destroyed, cars swept away, hospitals filled with the wounded and a frantic search for more survivors.
“We are going to take time to pray for them,” Budiman said.
Budiman also said he is hoping to have a fundraiser in the near future for the families affected by the disaster.
More than 200 people have been killed in the tsunami and the death toll is expected to climb. Some people are still missing, and rescuers have not reached all the areas affected.
Photo Credit: NBC 7
A man found Sunday afternoon lying on the sidewalk of a Walmart in Santee died later that evening, a sheriff's deputy said.
The incident started shortly before 3 p.m. where a patrol deputy saw the man lying on the sidewalk with an open container of alcohol behind the Walmart store on 120 Town Center Parkway, Lt. Rich Williams said.
The man was so drunk that he couldn't take of himself so the patrol deputy arrested him for public drunkenness, he said.
The man began having trouble breathing in the back of the patrol car and an ambulance was called. While the ambulance was en route, the man stopped breathing and deputies performed CPR until paramedics arrived and took over, Williams said.
The man was taken to a hospital where he died, he said.
The Sheriff's Homicide Unit is investigating the death as per protocol in any in-custody death.
The man's identity was not released pending notification of next of kin. The Medical Examiner's Office will perform an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of the man's death, Williams said.
Anyone with information about this incident was urged to contact the San Diego County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
Photo Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
A Chula Vista community came together Sunday to help the children of the man who was killed in a road-rage stabbing.
Instead of decorating her home with holiday cheer, Sasha Martinez is trying to fill the void in her heart after her fiancé Horace Williams, 36, was killed on Nov. 27.
"He was the joker. He was the sarcastic one. He would give everyone a hard time. It was his way of show affection. And that’s what we miss the most,” she explained.
Williams was stabbed in the aftermath of what police say was a road-rage incident near Willow Street in Bonita just minutes away from the couple’s home.
The hardest part, she said has been for their children, Amaya, 3, Amelia, 6, Estela, 9, and 18-month twin girls.
Williams was reportedly dropping off one of his five daughters at school when he was stabbed.
"So many memories that they could've had together,” Martinez said. “Now, all I have is videos and pictures for them to remember him by."
But the Chula Vista community ensured their holiday didn’t lack love.
A Christmas party for the family was held at the Montevalle Community Center in Eastlake. Food, presents and activities at the event were all donated by people in the community.
“I know in my heart that he is smiling. And it’s making him happy, just sucks that he wasn’t here to see it,” Martinez said wiping away tears.
She told NBC 7 her fiancé wouldn't have wanted it any other way, but that she is still stuck with the question of why.
"I’ll never understand the reason why it went that way," she said. "The fact that my daughters won't have their father anymore."
Rickey Smith, 60, was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Williams. He pleaded not guilty to charges in late November.
NBC 7 learned that Smith is involved at St. Stephen's Church of God in San Diego, where he plays the organ and his wife is a youth minister.
More than 50 people, including many members of Smith's church, showed up to support the suspect at his arraignment.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command is tracking Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas Eve journey across the globe.
The NORAD Santa Tracker, which went live just after midnight on Christmas Eve, uses satellite systems, high-powered radars and jet fighters, to follow Saint Nick as he makes his Yuletide journey around the world.
Santa was headed to Perth, Australia, just before 11 a.m. ET after he was spotted flying over the Great Wall of China around 10 a.m. ET. Saint Nick has already delivered presents to children in Japan, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Historically, he visits the South Pacific first before heading to New Zealand and Australia. He then treks to Asia, across to Africa and on to Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America.
“Keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable,” NORAD writes. “NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf Launch Staff to confirm his launch time, but from that point on, Santa calls the shots. We just track him!”
In addition to watching Santa's progress on the tracker, which went live just after midnight on Christmas Eve, users can find out Santa's current location by dialing 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now in its 63rd year, the Santa tracker became a Christmas Eve tradition after a mistaken phone call to the Continental Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1955. CONAD, as it was known, had the serious job of monitoring a far-flung radar network for any sign of a nuclear attack on the United States.
When Col. Harry Shoup picked up the phone that day, he found himself talking not to a military general, but to a child who wanted to speak to Santa Claus. A Colorado Springs newspaper had run an ad inviting kids to call Santa but mistakenly listed the hotline number.
Shoup figured out what had happened and played along. The tradition has since mushroomed into an elaborate operation that attracts tens of thousands of calls every year.
For the 1,500 civilian and military volunteers who will answer the phones for kids calling 1-877-HI-NORAD, it infuses the holiday with childlike wonder.
"They're all really sweet, small voices," said Madison Hill, a volunteer who helped answer the phones in two previous years.
"I had a little girl tell me good night instead of goodbye," she said. "It's really sweet."
The North American Aerospace Defense Command — a joint U.S.-Canadian operation based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that protects the skies over both countries — has taken over the Santa tracker since the tradition started. The military command center embraced and expanded the Santa-tracking mission and has been rewarded with a bounty of goodwill and good publicity.
Last year, NORAD Tracks Santa drew 126,000 phone calls, 18 million website hits, 1.8 million followers on Facebook and 179,000 more on Twitter.
Santa and his sleigh will have a hard time staying under the radar thanks to the site, which is accessible in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.
Photo Credit: NORAD
Trash service will be delayed for communities around San Diego County due to the Christmas holiday.
For the city of San Diego, there will be no trash collected on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. Trash will be collected one day later for the remainder of that week.
The same is planned for residents of Oceanside, according to the city’s website.
In Chula Vista, Republic Services said trash pickup service will run one day behind throughout the holiday week beginning Dec. 24 as well as the week of Dec.31.
EDCO will delay its residential and commercial collection by one day for the holiday week in Coronado, Encinitas, Escondido, Fallbrook, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Poway, Ramona, San Diego, San Marcos, Solana Beach, Valley Center, Vista and the unincorporated areas of San Diego County. This includes Fallbrook Waste & Recycling Services.
Public disposal sites will continue operating during normal business hours on Monday, Dec. 24, according to EDCO.
Video is our bread and butter here at NBC 7. In 2018, we had many stories were video was the focal point but these five clips were the most compelling of the year.
5. Motorcycles Close I-8
The year started off with hundreds of motorcyclists shutting down a San Diego freeway to perform tricks in the middle of the road. Video of the Jan. 14 incident on eastbound Interstate 8 in Mission Valley was one of the most viewed clips of that month.
4. 'Miracle' Landing
"You don't see this every day" could be heard on the video that captured the emergency landing of a private plane on Interstate 8 in October. A couple heading to a routine medical appointment caught the moment on their phone while their child in the backseat warned them "Watch out for the airplane!" no one was injured in the plane or on the highway. Amazing. Even if you have seen this video, it's worth a second look.
3. Mesmerizing Fire
The Holy Fire burning in Riverside and Orange counties was one of more than a dozen large wildfires scorching California on August 8. San Diegans were glued to the video coming from the area that had not burned since the early 1980s. Aerials shot by the helicopter from our sister station in Los Angeles KNBC were among the most popular video clips for the year.
2. Video Aids in Road Rage Arrest
A mobile phone video led to the arrest of a man accused of road rage after two drivers got into a physical confrontation on State Route 78 in February. The first driver instigated the incident, CHP officers said, however, the second driver was the one facing a felony charge based on his reaction.
1. Surprise in Ocean Beach
"I thought there might be an altercation between the cop and the kids," said one witness to the interaction between a San Diego police officer and some teenagers in Ocean Beach. "Next thing I know I look down and he's on the skateboard." The surprising video clip captured in late February was among the top video clips viewed by NBC 7.com users that month.
Photo Credit: Dallas Montanez
Video shows a SUV flip onto its side during a road rage confrontation on a California freeway.
A long stretch of State Route 67 was closed for hours on Monday after a pedestrian was struck by several cars and killed, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
More than seven hours after the crash, both northbound and southbound lanes of the East County route finally reopened between Poway and Rockhouse roads, Caltrans said.
Witnesses told SDSO a heavily drunk man was waking in the middle of northbound SR-67, north of Mina De Oro Road, at about 11 p.m. Sunday, according to SDSO Sgt. David Toner.
A Buick struck the pedestrian and launched him into southbound lanes, where the man was struck by four other vehicles. Toner said the man was dragged about 150 feet.
The driver was pronounced dead when first responders arrived. He has only been identified by SDSO as a 35-year-old man.
A SigAlert was issued at 11:22 p.m. and the roadway reopened shortly after 6:30 a.m., the agency said.
All drivers remained on scene and none were injured, CHP said.
Roadway conditions were foggy at the time the incident was reported but investigators did not say if it played a factor in the crash.
SDSO is investigating the crash.
Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.
The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever offered on Christmas Day will be on tap for Tuesday night's drawing.
With no winners in Friday's drawing, the jackpot climbed to an estimated $321 million. The jackpot refers to the annuity option, in which payments are made over 29 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, which would be $193.7 million.
Lottery officials said since the game began in 2002, drawings have landed on Dec. 25 just four times, the last time being in 2015. And while a Christmas Day drawing has not yet produced a jackpot winner, seven Mega Millions jackpots have been won in the drawings held days before and after Christmas, including the third largest jackpot in the history of the game – $648 million – on December 17, 2013.
The chance of matching all six numbers and winning the top prize is 1 in 302.5 million.
Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The next drawing will be held Tuesday, Dec. 25, at 11 p.m. ET.
The last jackpot was won on Oct. 23, when a single ticket in South Carolina matched all six numbers. That winner has not yet come forward.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
A winter storm is expected to bring light rain and the possibility for snow to San Diego County just in time for Christmas, according to forecasters.
A low-pressure system sweeping across southern California will bring the first sign of showers and gusty winds to San Diego County late Monday before the storm picks up on Christmas Day, NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen said.
As conditions change overnight, snow may fall at elevations above 5,000 feet and thunderstorms may be possible in coastal and inland areas, the National Weather Service said.
"We’re talking about rain and wind for your Christmas morning, your Christmas Day, and if your above 5,000 feet elevation, you could be seeing some snow," Parveen said in NBC 7's First Alert Forecast.
Parveen said in San Diego, Mount Laguna and Palomar Mountain have the best chance of seeing a white Christmas this year. Outside of San Diego County, Big Bear will most likely see snow on Christmas Day.
The weather system is also bringing strong winds to San Diego County.
Areas most affected include the inland valleys and coastal areas, including Vista, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Chula Vista, National City, San Diego, Escondido, El Cajon, San Marcos, La Mesa, Santee, and Poway.
NWS issued a wind advisory from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday. During that time, winds will average 15 to 25 miles per hour with some gusts reaching up to 35 mph late Monday.
"If you’re in the mountains, though, winds could gust near 60 miles per hour and we have the chance if seeing some snow showers above 5,000 feet," Parveen said. "If you’re going to be heading there tomorrow to see some snow, just be careful because the roads will be very slick."
Strong winds can make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles, NWS warned. Drivers should use caution on roadways east of Alpine, especially in mountain passes and on desert slopes.
High surf is also possible in San Diego County on Christmas Day, according to a NWS beach hazards statement.
Waves will average 4 to 7 feet on Tuesday with 9-foot waves possible at beaches south of Encinitas, NWS said. High tides will peak at 10:16 a.m. in La Jolla.
It is also possible that high surf will cause coastal flooding before it subsides Tuesday night.
NWS warns that high surf can create dangerous swimming conditions and strong rip currents. Beachgoers are urged to swim near a lifeguard.
The storm is expected to move out of the area on Wednesday, when San Diego will return to warmer and drier conditions, Parveen said.
For many, December 25 is spent with friends and family, either at home or out and about.
Have you ever wondered what the top 3 items purchased in the United States on Christmas Day are? According to Time magazine, they are: movie tickets, Chinese food, and alcohol.
There are many movies released on Christmas Day every year. It's a fun tradition for a lot of families.
The movie that has grossed the most of all time with an opening on Christmas day is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with an impressive $49,325,663 on December 25, 2015.
This year, customers can still see popular movies like Aquaman and Marry Poppins Returns in theaters.
"I'm going to let my husband decide what we see for once," said Leshawn Henderson in Mission Valley. "He's been wanting to see a few things so he gets to pick."
Alcohol sales skyrocket during the holiday season. Wines priced at $20 or higher sell 180 percent better the week leading up to December 25, according to Time. Spirit sales increase by 162 percent.
"Our family just likes hanging out with each other, playing games and drinking alcohol," said Tim Flemming, who lives in San Diego.
A survey by Yahoo also shows a majority of people say Christmas is their favorite drinking holiday.
Chinese food sales go way up on Christmas Day. Slate Magazine and Grubhub put this to the test in a study that found Chinese food orders increase by 152 percent every Dec. 25.
"It's something to do on Christmas Day!" said Sue Johnson in Golden Hill.
What is your favorite thing to do on Christmas?
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
A deadly two-car crash on State Route 78 west of Ramona shut down the freeway in both directions Monday morning, according to California Highway Patrol.
The crash happened shortly after 11 a.m. when a pickup truck and a Toyota Camry crashed head-on at the intersection of West Haverford Road and SR-78, according to the CHP.
There were four people in the Camry, two adults and two boys in the back seat.
One of the boys was pronounced dead at the scene, CalFire Capt. John Heggie said.
Four people, three from the Camry and one from the truck, were transported to the hospitals, he said.
Two people were transported by a medical helicopter, which had landed in a grassy field next to two crashed vehicles.
A white truck with a crushed hood could be seen in a ditch and the Camry could be seen nearby with the roof torn from the vehicle.
Debris was strewn across the roadway.
SR-78 was closed in both directions at Haverford Road and Pine Street and a SigAlert was issued just before 11:20 a.m.
The highway reopened just before 4 p.m.
This is a developing story. Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.
The victim of a deadly shooting in a busy section of San Diego's Mid-City neighborhood is being remembered Monday as a loving father who worked two jobs to support his family.
"That's the type of man he was," Mark Carter said of his cousin, 31-year-old Dionte Floyd. "A man who was all about his kids and his family, and would do anything for them."
Floyd was shot to death just before 6 p.m. Saturday outside a popular Vietnamese restaurant in a small shopping center on El Cajon Boulevard just west of 54th Street. A second victim, identified by police as Dashe Wallace, 38, was injured in the shooting. He is expected to survive.
San Diego police Lt. Anthony Dupree said a fight broke out between two groups of men before the shooting started. Police officers found Floyd and Wallace on the ground with gunshot wounds in their upper bodies. Officers administered first aid until paramedics arrived and took over, Lt. Dupree said.
Floyd was pronounced dead at the hospital, Dupree said.
It was unknown how many shots were fired.
"We have several witnesses were are talking to — a lot of witnesses to be exact," Dupree said. "We're still working through the scene."
The motive for the shooting is unknown, but on Monday, Floyd's cousin told NBC 7 that Floyd was not involved with gangs, and spend all his spare time caring for his 12-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter.
"He leaves the legacy of a person who cared for his family and would do anything for his children," Carter said of Floyd. "That's just who he was as a man. That's what he personified. He would do anything to make sure his family was OK."
Carter said he doesn't know why Floyd was at the shopping center just after sunset, Saturday night. But he said he is sure Floyd was not the target of the shooter and was an innocent bystander.
"Whatever happened, a man is gone and his two children are without a father," Carter said. "Someone took him away from his kids, and they have to live with that."
On Sunday morning, more than 12 hours after the deadly shooting, investigators were still at the scene collecting evidence, including bullet casings scattered around the parking lot.
Homicide investigators said the suspects were men wearing black clothing but, as of Monday afternoon, did not have a more complete description.
Anyone with any information about the shooting is urged to call the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the family
Though the official count is in the hundreds, it's been estimated that well over a thousand people in San Francisco go to sleep in their vehicles every night, parked on city streets.
The most visible of these people are the ones now at the center of a fiery debate: the residents of an estimated 313 RVs, many of them decades old and barely functioning, that bounce from block to block, dodging parking restrictions, and sometimes leaving a trail of garbage and angry neighbors in their wake.
"Those are not proper homes. They do not belong in residential neighborhoods," District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen said at a tense community meeting.
But much like the angry renters and homeowners in Ronen's district, the RV dwellers say they're just trying to live a drama-free life in what's become the most expensive city in the world. We visited three of them to learn what their daily existence is like.
1. Joey Martinez
It started out as a dream that Joey Martinez now admits was horribly misguided.
"I came up with the bright idea to purchase an RV," Martinez said. "The rent was getting expensive, and … I was just planning on seeing the world, seeing the country and just driving around."
Joey Martinez gutted this water-damaged RV and did much of the new woodwork himself. Though it's now a suitable shelter, it still lacks plumbing for water and propane.
Martinez thought he was getting a bargain, but he got more than he bargained for: A tall, modern-looking motorhome that turned out to be riddled with water damage and mold. As he tore into it, trying to make it habitable, he discovered another problem: without a catalytic converter or oxygen sensor, the engine couldn't pass a California smog test, which is required to register a vehicle.
"Literally, I'm stuck," he said. "I can't go anywhere because I have no plates and I have no registration."
By agreement with city officials, Martinez now parks his half-working RV on a corner that was once a garbage dumping ground, and helps keep the area clean. He said he misses the simple things in life.
"The luxury of the sound of a toilet flushing is just — if you don't have that, or power — you have to look for your own power and water source — it's so stressful," he said. "Every day is a survival situation."
2. Rudolph Fisher
Mayor London Breed often talks about growing up in San Francisco's housing projects, but she rarely talks about her downstairs neighbor, Rudolph Fisher, who says he lived below her at the corner of Turk and Laguna years ago.
Fisher, now 65 years old, said he lost his housing after a conviction for receiving stolen property made him ineligible for housing assistance. Private landlords weren't eager to rent to him either, and he's been homeless in one form or another since 2002.
Rudolph Fisher lives in this 1978 Chevy RV, where he occasionally gets visits from family and friends. The vehicle runs and has valid license plates, and Fisher says he'd happily sell it if he had someplace else to go.
"I sleep at family's sometimes, I slept on the bus once or twice, I slept in cars, slept in trucks," he said.
Now, Fisher lives in a 40-year-old Chevy Itasca RV parked on a mostly-industrial block in the Bayview District where street sweepers and parking enforcement won't bother him.
"It's a daily ritual," he said. "I have to supply it with water, I have to supply it with gas, oil, and then I have to do the food."
Fisher, who suffers from COPD and diabetes, said that like the RV itself, life on the streets is getting old.
"I'm done with living like this," he said. "This is not a good way to live. There's no room. I'd like to come back to Earth and get a nice little apartment, a studio apartment."
3. Couper Orona
In early 2018, when San Francisco began cracking down on tent encampments, Couper Orona knew she had to find a different kind of shelter. Homelessness was a new and unexpected turn of events for her, after she became disabled and then went through a messy divorce.
"I lived in Diamond Heights," she said. "Drove an Audi. Had a good life, you know. And just overnight, like that, everything's gone."
Couper Orona bought this aging RV from a friend after city officials swept the tent encampment where she had been living. With shelter from the rain, a tiny kitchen and a private bathroom, she said it feels like a castle.
Orona said she bought an RV from a friend who couldn't take care of it anymore, and now parks it with a group of other inhabited vehicles at the edge of a parking lot in the Mission District. Most days, she's just grateful to have a (sometimes leaky) roof over her head, and a place she can cook and use the bathroom, she said.
"It's huge, this is like a castle to me," she said. "I appreciate every bit that I have, and I don't take it for granted anymore."
As a single woman living on the street, Orona said she learned to make friends with those who would watch her back. Now, she said, crime is no longer her primary worry: she's far more concerned about new city enforcement efforts.
"This almost got towed one day," she said. "I could care less if there's a guy down the street with a gun … I'm more scared of them breaking into my house and taking my RV and putting my cat at the pound."
The Struggle for a Solution
Though vehicle dwellers have quietly subsisted in San Francisco for many years, tightening parking restrictions have forced them into denser and more visible clusters on the few streets where they're still allowed to park. District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí said these clusters are what have aroused the ire of neighbors.
When the Board of Supervisors adjourned for the winter holidays, there were two competing efforts to curb complaints over RV living in the city. The first, backed by Safaí, Mayor Breed and District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown, would explore locations for an "RV triage center" where those living on wheels could come to store their vehicles while getting registered for housing assistance. In some cases, the city would offer to "buy back" RVs from their owners for cash.
Brown said the likelihood of finding suitable housing will depend a lot on who's asking: Families with children, veterans and seniors would be among the first to get help, while young and healthy individuals might wind up on the city's lengthy shelter wait list.
Safaí said as part of that plan, the supervisors would seek tighter citywide restrictions on the parking of oversized vehicles in residential neighborhoods. RV dwellers who register before a certain date will be eligible for a degree of leniency and assistance, while those who come into the city after that date would be subject to fines and towing, he said.
The second proposal comes from District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who said she'd initially planned to get on board with Brown and Safaí, but became impatient under pressure from her constituents. The fiery meeting at which she spoke packed a gymnasium full of angry renters and homeowners in the hilly, mostly-residential Portola neighborhood, where RVs can roam free of street sweeping and permit parking restrictions.
Ronen said she would start by banning tall vehicles from parking overnight in the Portola neighborhood, then introduce legislation setting a 6-month deadline for the city to open a triage or navigation center for RVs. Included in her plan would be the option for a "safe parking" program, allowing RV residents to continue living in their vehicles in a designated spot, away from neighborhoods, with garbage and bathroom facilities on site.
Advocates from the Coalition on Homelessness say they studied a safe parking program in San Diego, and found it could be a good fit for San Francisco, if used as a temporary step on the way to stable housing.
"A lot of what is needed is time," said Kelley Cutler, a human rights organizer for the Coalition. "Time to actually get into housing — because it's not going to be quick."
Cutler said the Coalition found RV dwellers in San Diego were able to get into more permanent housing within 4 to 6 months of enrolling in the city's safe parking program. A program like it in San Francisco would also eliminate another threat: the worry of having RVs towed away and impounded by the city after they accumulate too many parking tickets.
On December 18, the Coalition filed a lawsuit against the city aiming to stop authorities from impounding vehicles with unpaid tickets when those vehicles serve as the owner's only home or shelter.
In a statement, the City Attorney's spokesperson, John Cote, responded, "We're sympathetic to those who are homeless, including those who have nowhere to sleep other than in their cars."
Cote added that the SFMTA recently reduced towing fees for low-income people, and has long offered the option to perform community service in lieu of payment for those who can't afford their parking tickets.
"The bottom line is there is a way to take care of a parking ticket even if you can't pay for it. Letting parking tickets just pile up is not an acceptable choice," Cote's statement said.
In spite of the constant cat-and-mouse game with parking authorities, the San Francisco RV dwellers we spoke to said an offer of housing from the city wouldn't necessarily be a done deal.
In many cases, the first permanent housing option offered to homeless individuals is an SRO: a Single Room Occupancy hotel. Orona and Fisher both said they'd rather continue living in their vehicles than accept the restrictions that come along with SRO living.
"Why would I get rid of this to go into an SRO where I can't have visitors, I can't cook on the stove, I don't have my own bathroom?" Orona said. Looking around the cluttered living room of her RV, she added, "I mean, it's not much, but this is mine."
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.
The man suspected of beating a man to death in the Midway District earlier this month was the same man who jumped on stage at a Taylor Swift concert in 2015, police said.
Christian Ewing, 29, was arrested Friday for a parole violation and was re-arrested Monday for the murder of Gregory Freeman.
In 2015, Ewing jumped on stage a Taylor Swift’s concert in Petco Park and injuring one of the pop star's security team members.
Freeman, 57, was found Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 3900 Rosecrans Street near the Interstate 5 overpass.
He sustained trauma to his upper body and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries four days after the attack.
One witness told police that the victim had been on the ground when an unknown man began to hit him with some sort of object, SDPD Lt. Anthony Dupree. The attacker escaped capture.
Anyone with information on this attack can reach out to police at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
Photo Credit: NBC 7
Christian Ewing in his court appearance for jumping on stage at a Taylor Swift's concert in San Diego.
Remember when meeting Santa was a big nope? Our NBC 7 News staffers share these photos of when their kids met Santa and it went hilariously wrong. If you have your own Santa fail photos, submit them to us at email@example.com
Photo Credit: Catherine Garcia
NBC 7’s anchor Catherine Garcia’s son wasn’t too fond of Santa when he was a tot.
Thousands of federal workers and government contractors in San Diego County are amongst those affected by the partial government shutdown.
Some will be on furlough, others are forced to work the holidays without pay.
"It's an insult to federal employees," said George McCubbin, the national vice president for the American Federation of Government Employees — the largest union for federal workers.
McCubbin estimates there are 5,000 workers affected by the partial shutdown in San Diego County.
"Our border patrol agents, our Customs and Border Protection officers, our TSA officers," he said. "We have the Bureau of Prisons because we have the downtown detention facility."
Most, because they're considered essential, are forced to work without pay.
The Senate is scheduled to meet Thursday to try to put an end to the shutdown but McCubbin is well aware that if something isn't hammered out before the New Year, this shutdown could be rough for his union members.
"I can't even imagine being that federal employee having to go home and tell my family I may not get a paycheck but I still have to go to work," he said.
NBC7 spoke to other labor leaders who said because the government was closed Monday and Tuesday for Christmas, they haven't felt the full brunt of this shutdown.
If, however, there is no deal in place by Friday, they say people are going to get really nervous.
Photo Credit: NBC 7
A 65-year-old woman was killed Monday when she was hit by a 16-year-old driver in Serra Mesa, police said.
The accident happened shortly after 7 p.m. at the intersection of Village Glen Drive and Ruffin Road, San Diego police Officer John Buttle said.
First responders performed CPR on the woman for 20 minutes but she did not survive her injuries, he said.
The 16-year-old boy remained on the scene, Buttle said.
It was unclear what led up to the fatal crash.
The intersection was briefly shut down for the investigation.
This is a developing story. Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.
A family whose home was destroyed last month in the Camp Fire in Paradise is finding the Christmas spirit in the kindness of the Santee Community.
The Harrison family left Santee 18 years ago for a job and a life in Paradise. They are back with little more than the clothes on their backs after that devastating fire.
With the support of their family and hometown community, they have found the strength to start over.
Without electricity or cell phone signal the warning to evacuate did not reach Jessica and Tyler Harrison before the embers and smoke did.
"Seemed against all survival odds to drive through the forest to escape a forest fire," Jessica Harrison said.
But that's exactly what they had to do. Tyler and Jessica dared the drive through an old jeep trail.
"It was moving 80 football fields in a minute, " Tyler Harrison said.
Their teenage children made it out through town with the help of an older sibling and other evacuees. What was once lush pines and comfortable homes is now ash.
"All you see are burnt stumps and you could literally see through blocks of the town and everything just flat," Tyler said.
Hearing of the family's misfortune, Autumn Freund, a Santee resident whom the Harrisons had only just met, collected cash and gift card donations to put on this giving tree. Freund raised more than $3,000 dollars.
"The community has been so overwhelming and so kind and so welcoming it's been good to be back," Jessica said.
Another $3,000-plus was raised on the family's GoFundMe page.
"You think, 'God what is this world coming to?' but now you look at people that don't know you and say, "Here you go. We are going to help you out." So there is still a lot of good people in the world," Tyler said.
The Harrison family's loss is not the kind of thing Christmas stories are made of but the Santee community's kindness is.
The infrastructure of Paradise is so damaged rebuilding won't be possible for several years.
Tyler's job will follow him here. The company set up a satellite office just for him.
Photo Credit: NBC 7