PUBLIC SAFETY BRIEFS – July 13, 2017

Traffic Collision Kills Motorist, Injures Two Others

On Sat., July 1 at about 4:37 p.m., Hemet Police Officers responded to a traffic collision which occurred near the intersection of Sanderson Avenue and Acacia Avenue in the City of Hemet. Officers arrived on scene and learned a stolen 1998 Honda Civic had collided head-on into a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe. The driver of both cars and the passenger in the Honda were seriously injured. All three injured parties were transported by ambulance to an area hospital. Danny Guajardo, 36, of Hemet, was driving the stolen Honda and later succumbed to his injuries. His passenger is in critical but stable condition, and the driver of the Hyundai is in stable condition.
Guajardo was driving the stolen Honda south on Sanderson Avenue approaching Acadia Avenue. The driver of the Hyundai, a 61-year-old Simi Valley resident, was driving north on Sanderson Avenue and had just entered the left turn pocket. The driver of the Honda crossed over the double yellow line and collided into the Hyundai.
There were signs that Guajardo may have been under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Sanderson Avenue between Acacia Avenue and Wentworth Drive was closed for approximately three hours while officers conducted an investigation.

Accidental hiking death

In the early hours of Saturday, July 8, Riverside County Sheriff deputies responded to Humber Park in Idyllwild regarding a deceased hiker. The Riverside County Sheriff Department’s Aviation Unit, Coroner’s Bureau and the Sheriff’s Department volunteers from the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU) assisted with the body recovery. The body of 51-year-old George J. Wu of Newport Beach, was recovered from Ernie Maxwell Scenic Hiking Trail. The preliminary investigation determines Mr. Wu likely suffered traumatic injuries from a fall while climbing. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind hikers that weather, awareness of your surroundings, proper equipment and supplies, and use of good judgment are essential for safe hiking. Hikers are also encouraged to venture out with a partner and stay on designated trails. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Hemet Station at 951-791-3400.

San Jacinto cites clerk in Minor Decoy Operation

The San Jacinto Police Department cited a clerk for selling alcohol to a minor on July 2, 2017. The action was the result of a minor decoy operation in which minors under the direct supervision of officers, attempted to purchase alcohol from 15 retail licensees in the city of San Jacinto.
Those who sold to the minor face a minimum fine of $250, and/or 24 to 32 hours of community service for a first violation. In addition, ABC will take administrative action against the alcoholic beverage license of the business. That may include a fine, a suspension of the license, or the permanent revocation of the license.
The San Jacinto Police Department is conducting the compliance checks to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. Statistics have shown that young people under the age of 21 have a higher rate of drunken driving fatalities than the general adult population.
Minor Decoy operations have been conducted by local law enforcement throughout the state since the 1980s. When the program first began, the violation rate of retail establishments selling to minors was as high as 40 to 50 percent. When conducted on a routine basis, the rate has dropped in some cities as low as 10 percent or even below.
In 1994, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that use of underage decoys is a valid tool of law enforcement to ensure that licensees are complying with the law. Operation Shoulder Tap and Minor Decoy programs are part of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s Education and Teen Alcohol Enforcement Program Grant, funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

San Jacinto cracks down on underage drinking

The San Jacinto Police Department arrested a suspect on July 2 for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors. The operation was conducted in the city of San Jacinto.
The San Jacinto Police Department conducted a Decoy Shoulder Tap Operation, which targets adults who purchase alcohol for people less than 21 years of age. Under the program, a minor under the direct supervision of a peace officer will stand outside a liquor or convenience store and ask patrons to buy them alcohol. The minor indicates in some way he or she is underage and cannot purchase the alcohol.
If an adult agrees to purchase alcohol for the minor, officers then arrest and cite the adult for furnishing alcohol to the minor. The penalty for furnishing alcohol to a minor is a minimum $1,000 fine and 24 hours of community service.
The program is intended to reduce the availability of alcohol to minors. Statistics show they generally have a higher rate of drunken driving crashes than adults. Studies also show the combination of alcohol and youth tends to increase criminal conduct. According to the American Medical Association, underage drinking can increase chances of risky sexual behavior and teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, compromise health, and result in unintentional injury and death.

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