`Coffee with the Cops’ Part II: Police Chief Jim Leal

Ever wanted to speak to Newark Police Chief Jim Leal about something going on in your neighborhood, but had no idea how to contact him? Well, here’s your chance to talk to him face to face. Leal and Commander Bob Douglas are the two officers scheduled to participate in this month’s “Coffee with the Cops” event in Newark. The event is slated for 6 to 8 p.m. WEDNESDAY, OCT. 14, at Starbucks on Stevenson Boulevard at Balentine Drive. In case you show up and forget what to ask Chief Leal, just remember that he is a big San Jose Sharks fan, so that’ll break the ice, hopefully long enough for you to remember your question.


SWAT training in Union City, not a real crime scene

For the second time in recent months, I’ve been tripped up by police scanner traffic that led me to believe there was an active SWAT incident going on in the Tri-City area.

In May I heard SWAT action on the Fremont police radio channels, and it turned out to be nothing more than a training exercise at a defunct car dealership. And today I heard similar static on the Union City radio channels. One big difference though: I didn’t race out there today with my notebook and press pass in hand. Instead I was able to confirm by telephone that stuff I was hearing was indeed a training exercise.

I suppose it’s a dead give away when you hear an officer calmly say “shots fired,” instead of screaming it as would be the case if the incident were real.

For you scanner junkies, be aware that this training will also be taking place tomorrow.


Mom shot in Union City apartment while kids were home

UPDATE: (3:05 p.m.) First version on the Web site.


Story should be online momentarily, but a 25-year-old mom was shot and wounded this morning in a Union City apartment during an argument with her husband. Cops say two children were home at the time (and the mother of the suspect), but none of them were hurt. Woman is expected to live, although she is undergoing surgery as I write this.


Cops: Baby was dead before dumped in trash

Got some breaking news to report. It appears that the newborn girl found in a Union City trash can in May was dead before it was birthed, and likely died from a rare bacteria that entered the mother’s uterus during a prolonged labor. I’ll have more detail — I hope — later today. But the working story is posted here. It will be updated later.


Shooting last weekend near The Hub?

I received an e-mail yesterday asking about a shooting near The Hub late Saturday or early Sunday. I finally got the information about the incident. According to cops, there was a large hip-hop party held at a restaurant across the street from The Hub late Saturday/early Sunday. During the event — which police broke up — two people were shooting guns, witnesses said. It was not until the next morning (daylight) that police found several expended shell cassings from two different types of guns (9 mm and .45 cal). As of this morning (Tuesday) police have not learned of anyone actually hit by gunfire.


`Brave’ Bank robber charged in federal court

Remember the cases about a year ago in which a man wearing an Atlanta Braves baseball cap was robbing banks and check cashing business in the East and South Bay to payoff gambling debts? Maybe you remember this picture?

Well, the man suspected of those crimes has been charged in federal court. Court records show Shaun Shinkyu Kim, A 27-year-old Fremont man, has been charged with a dozen crimes, all of which are a variation of robbery.

In all, authorities believe the man stole almost $58,000 during the six month stretch. In most of the heists only a few thousands dollars were stolen. But in the last one, June 10, 2008, the robbery suspect made off with more than $18,000.





Scanner: Ice Cream Vendors Arguing Over Territory In Newark

Typically, stuff we hear on the scanner is treated by us as nothing more than a news tip. In other words, we won’t print what we hear on the scanner unless it can be verified by police. But sometimes there are items we hear over the radio that are just too amusing not to mention somewhere.

Such was the case about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in Newark where two ice cream vendors apparently got into a shouting match — not sure exactly where — about who has the territorial rights to peddle Push Pops in a certain neighborhood. It’s unclear if we’re talking about guys actually pushing carts and clanging handlebar bells, or sellers with the trucks and annoying music. Regardless, if this thing resulted in fisticuffs, it would have been a great story to write. As it is now, it’s nothing more than blog fodder. Enjoy.


Union City cops receive thanks; host tip-a-cop event for Special Olympics

Got a bit of information worth passing on:

1: A woman walked up to a member of the Union City Police Department’s community oriented policing unit in the last day or two and gave them a card, a token of appreciation for all law enforcement officers in light of the killings in Oakland over the weekend. The card is now being shown to officers at the police department.  According to a different officer, others in the community have been verbally showing their appreciation over the last few days.

2: Police are hosting a tip-a-cop event at Applebees from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, Match 24) to benefit the Special Olympics of Northern California. Applebees is located at 30980 Dyer St.