Suicide on I-5
On Wednesday, Nov. 6, around 6:50 a.m. a man died after jumping from the freeway overpass at Clairemont Drive. Several motorists pulled over to help and to block vehicles from running over the man. California Highway Patrol closed down all lanes but two, and drivers were alerted to expect two hour delays. This was the second time in two days that a person had jumped off a bridge in San Diego onto a freeway below. The day before, around 5:25 a.m. the body of a man was found in the fast lane of northbound state Route 163 near the Laurel Street bridge in Balboa Park.
Pacific Beach resident pleads guilty to distributing fentanyl
Pacific Beach resident Maya Kol pleaded guilty in federal court on Oct. 24 to selling fentanyl powder that caused the death of one man and sent another to the hospital over Labor Day weekend in September 2018. A third man — Kol’s source of the fentanyl — also fatally overdosed that weekend from the same batch.
Kol, a Cambodian national living illegally in San Diego, said in his plea that he purchased the fentanyl powder thinking it was cocaine. After sampling the powder he became woozy and noticed it tasted different. In his plea agreement he further stated he sold one half gram of fentanyl powder to three individuals J.E., J.H. and L.S., telling them it was cocaine, despite his experience with the drug.
Several hours later L.S. contacted Kol asking for help. Kol arrived to J.H. and L.S.’s apartment to find J.E. and J.H. non-responsive. Kol then returned home and flushed the remaining powder down the toilet. J.E. died from the fentanyl powder. J.H. had to be administered Narcan (used to treat opioid overdoses) and rushed to the hospital, but survived. L.S. was admitted to the hospital the following day for lingering symptoms.
A subsequent search of Kol’s residence uncovered more than $5,000 in cash, scales and other indicia of drug sales.
J.E.’s death was one of three deaths that occurred in Pacific Beach over Labor Day weekend in 2018, including the individual who sold the fentanyl powder to Kol. Kol is not charged with the other deaths. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, 2020 before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller.
Two residential fires reported in PB
1. A 9-1-1 call shortly before 4 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, reported a golf cart on fire in the garage of a home on Reed Avenue near Ingraham Street. A Tesla parked in the driveway was also damaged. When firefighters arrived, they saw flames coming from the roof of the home. Within 20 minutes, they had the flames knocked down. The fire displaced a family of three. Arson investigators are trying to determine how the fire started. No reports of injuries have been released.
2. A fire was reported shortly before 4:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14 in one unit of a two-story condominium complex on Diamond Street, west of Ingraham Street. Firefighters arrived at the scene and two off-duty firefighters who lived near the complex pointed them to the flames coming from a room on the first floor, which had parts for motorcycles and cars inside it. The firefighters knocked down the flames within 12 minutes. One resident had to be treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, and four residents and a pet were displaced. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Motorcycle and semi-truck injury
At 12:14 p.m. on Oct. 30, a semi-truck and trailer being driven by a 36-year-old male was driving northbound in the second lane of 4200 Mission Bay Drive. A flagger was behind the semi-truck directing traffic from the east curb line of 4200 Mission Bay Drive. A 29-year-old motorcyclist was traveling northbound in the third lane, passed the flagger and struck the semi-trailer as it turned right onto 3000 Rosewood St.
The motorcyclist continued northbound and struck another vehicle parked along the east curb line of 4300 Mission Bay Drive.
The motorcyclist suffered a broken leg, a concussion and multiple abrasions. He was transported to the hospital.
Traffic Division officers responded to the scene and are handling the investigation.
Arrest made in Pacific Beach homicide
On Nov. 12, 32-year-old Desmond Alejandro Williams was arrested in National City in connection to a homicide that occurred on Saturday, June 22.
At 1:10 a.m. that day, the SDPD’s Communication Center received a radio call of an assault occurring at 4300 block Mission Boulevard. Officers arrived on scene minutes later and located an adult man at that location with trauma to his upper torso. Officers performed life saving measures on the victim until relieved by San Diego Fire-Rescue Personnel.
The victim was transported to a local hospital by medics, but succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the hospital. SDPD Homicide Detectives were called to the scene and learned the victim and suspect had argued. The interaction escalated and resulted in the victim’s death.
The victim was identified as 40-year-old Sean Paul Snellman.
Williams was a suspect during the course of this investigation. He has now been booked into jail for the murder of Snellman.
DEA warns: Counterfeit pills from Mexico
In a recent press release, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a warning that Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing mass quantities of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl for distribution throughout North America.
Fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic opioid lethal in minute doses.
A sampling of tablets seized nationwide between January and March 2019 found that 27 percent contained potentially lethal doses of fentanyl.
In October, the San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force released its 2018 Report Card, revealing 92 fentanyl-related deaths in San Diego County in 2018.
This year, there have already been 92 fentanyl-related deaths in the County.
For help to stop using drugs, call 2-1-1 or visit optumsandiego.com
San Diego Sheriff’s Department awarded DUI grant
The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has awarded the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department a $550,000 grant that will fund a year’s worth of special operations and campaigns designed to stop drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Impaired driving checkpoints, patrols and distracted driving/traffic enforcement will all be funded by the grant.
• Assaults: 23 reports
• Drugs/Alcohol Violations: 138
• DUIs Drugs/Alcohol: 16 citations
• Fraud: 8 reports
• Other Sex Crimes: 800 block West Mission Bay, 8:55 a.m. Nov. 18
• Residential Burglary: 5 — 1000 block Turquoise, 4:45 p.m. Nov. 8; 1700 block Grand, 5 p.m. Oct. 20; 2600 block Loring, 11 p.m. Nov. 11; 4300 block Dawes, 7 p.m. Nov. 16; 700 block Island, 12:01 a.m. Nov. 21
• Commercial Burglary: 9 — 700 block Pacific Beach, 2:36 a.m. Nov. 2; 5100 block Santa Fe, 1:15 p.m. Nov. 3; 700 block Emerald, 5:27 a.m. Nov. 1; 900 block Garnet, 5:35 a.m. Nov. 4; 1400 block Garnet, 7 p.m. Nov. 4; 900 block Garnet, 7:08 p.m. Nov. 9; 5100 block Santa Fe, 3:45 p.m. Nov. 10; Crown Point and Eden, 8:49 p.m. Nov. 12; 7500 block La Jolla, 2 a.m. Nov. 15
• Street Robberies: 1 — 1700 block Missouri, 5:10 a.m. Nov. 19
• Grand Theft (over $950): 19 reports
• Petty Theft/Shoplifting: 24 reports
• Vandalism: 9 incidents
• Vehicle Break-ins: 17 reports
• Vehicle Theft: 20 reports
— Compiled by PB Monthly staff from San Diego Police Department releases.