(Photos courtesy Ventura County Fire Department)
The former CEO of the Santa Clara Waste Water Company has pleaded no contest to several charges growing out of the explosion and fire at their facility in Santa Paula more than two-and-a-half years ago.
Prosecutors say that 60-year-old William James Mitzel of Somis was convicted on several misdemeanor violations relating to failing to notify the proper authorities that the company kept a hazardous substance at their operation on Mission Rock Road and failing to provide protective gear for employees.
Investigators say that on November 18, 2014 sodium hydroxide, also known as Petromax, was mixed with other substances in a vacuum truck not rated for such use.
Prosecutors say that led to the explosion and fire that injured employees and first responders.
Mitzel was placed on three years formal probation with a number of restrictions and conditions.
He also paid $350,000 that will be distributed among the victims.
Mitzel is the latest of several company employees who have been convicted in the case, for others their cases are pending.
A Simi Valley man who prosecutors say beat his spouse so badly she needed surgery and injured her child is now facing up to 11 years in state prison.
The DA's office says 46-year-old Jeffrey Michael Lindquist had abused two prior spouses in Michigan and California.
This latest case comes from an incident on the night of March 28, 2015 at a home on Long Canyon Road.
Police responded to a domestic disturbance and their investigation revealed the spouse had locked herself in a bedroom after an argument with Lindquist.
They say he broke down the door and then repeatedly punched her in the face so badly she needed surgery.
Prosecutors also say that Lindquist broke her phone and then forced her 8-year-old son out of the house, injuring the child in the process.
Lindquist was convicted by a jury and is being held without bail pending sentencing August 21st.
New details have been released regarding the altercation early Sunday morning that led to the death of one person and the wounding of another.
The authorities have identified the fatal victim as 18-year-old Anthony Montiel of Santa Paula and they say he died from blunt force trauma to his head.
Police also identified the man who was wounded by gunfire and survived as 35-year-old Robert Villanueva of Santa Paula and his condition has been upgraded from critical to stable condition.
They say he is expected to recover.
Santa Paula police say there was some sort of altercation between the two in the 500 block of Sycamore Street in Santa Paula that led to the violence.
Santa Paula police are not getting more specific than that other than to say they consider Villanueva to be "a person of interest" in Montiel's death but he has not been arrested.
They are still trying to determine the exact sequence of events.
Police say the two knew each other.
They do not believe this is gang related.
The investigation continues.
Port Hueneme police say they arrested an Oxnard teenager Monday after he allegedly attacked a security guard at the Port of Hueneme.
It happened shortly before 7 PM a the security gate on Huenme Road.
Police had received a call of a subject disturbing and when they arrived on scene they found the security guard on the ground, injured, with another port employee trying to stop the teen from continuing the attack.
They say the 17-year-old male suspect was combative and resistant at first but ultimately was taken into custody and charged with assault and vandalism.
The security guard was treated at the scene for injuries sustained in the attack.
Why the teen did what he did is unknown.
The Ojai Valley was the focus of the latest compliance check on registered sex offenders living in Ventura County.
On Saturday detectives went to 30 locations in both the city of Ojai and the unincorporated areas of the valley to check on where those individuals were living where they were supposed to be living.
Detectives say 25 were in compliance.
The other five were not found, either because they just happened not to be home at the time, or they moved.
Follow investigations will be made of those five to make sure they are in compliance.
Law enforcement agencies throughout Ventura County do these compliance checks on a regular basis.
It's paid for by a state grant.
The public can also check on registered sex offenders in their communities by going to the Megan's Law website at www.meganslaw.ca.gov
Santa Paula police are investigating an incident early Sunday morning in which one person died and another was wounded.
Shortly after 2 AM, officers responded to a disturbance call in the 500 block of Sycamore Street on the city's east side, about a block from Las Piedras Park.
Police Commander Ish Cordero told KVTA News they found an adult male suffering from multiple gunshot wounds who was taken to VCMC, his condition unknown.
Cordero says they also found a second adult male down in the street who was pronounced dead at the scene.
No other details right now.
Oxnard police have arrested a suspect in connection with the shooting death of a man on Wednesday night.
27-year-old Jonathan Zambrano of Oxnard was arrested Saturday morning for the killing of 24-year-old Albert Salazar of Oxnard.
Salazar was shot Wednesday evening in the 1300 block of West Guava Street.
He was taken by private vehicle to the police station and then rushed by ambulance to VCMC where he died, becoming Oxnard's 11th homicide of this year.
The Oxnard Major Crimes and Violent Crimes Units investigated and developed evidence that pointed to Zambrano as a possible suspect.
By Friday they obtained an arrest warrant and Saturday morning around 11:15 AM Zambrano was spotted in a vehicle in the area of Third and A streets in Oxnard.
He was taken into custody along with the female driver of the vehicle.
Zambrano was arrested for murder the female was arrested on a drug charge.
Zambrano is a active parolee so he cannot be bailed out of jail.
(Photo courtesy Ventura City Fire Department)
A small brushfire broke out along the south bank of the Ventura River on the north side of the County Fairgrounds in Ventura around 3:50 PM Saturday afternoon.
It had burned a 50 foot by 100 foot section of vegetation next to the bike path.
VPD shut down a section of the bike path from West Main Street to Shoreline Drive.
Train traffic was also stopped since the fire is close to the trestle that runs over the river.
Enginer companies, hand crews and water drops from Copter 7 had the fire controlled in a half hour and completed extinguished in two hours.
There was no damage to any structures, including the train trestle.
The trestle was reopened in about an hour.
Cause of the fire is under investigation.
No injuries reported.
Deputies are searching for the driver who hit a bicyclist in Camarillo and then fled the scene.
The bicyclist, a 33-year-old Camarillo woman, was riding westbound in the north bicycle lane of Upland Road shortly before 11:30 PM Friday.
While crossing Somis Road she was struck by an unknown vehicle and thrown off the bicycle.
Deputies say she sustained moderate injuries and was taken to Los Robles Medical Center in Thousand Oaks for treatment.
The collision is still under investigation by the Camarillo Police Department Traffic Bureau.
Anyone who might have witnessed the collision is asked to contact Deputy Leo Cobian of the Traffic Bureau at (805)-388-5128
UPDATE--A wanted man was caught Saturday morning but not before he led the CHP on a high speed chase from Ventura County into LA County.
The incident began shortly before 7 AM when a CHP patrol officer spotted a wanted subject in a vehicle on Pacific Coast Highway near Thornhill Broome Beach south of Mugu Rock in Ventura County.
He called for back up in order to make a high risk stop.
When they attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver failed to yield and that started a pursuit on southbound PCH at speeds of up to 100 mph.
It traveled into Los Angeles County and in Malibu in the Broad Beach area, the vehicle spun out and the suspect fled on foot.
A female passenger was taken into custody.
An extensive ground, sea and air search was conducted for the male suspect that ended with his capture about two hours later.
No other details right now
The DMV is continuing its crackdown on people who violate the disabled parking laws in Ventura County.
Wednesday they were at the Shopping at the Rose parking lot on Rose Avenue in Oxnard and issued a dozen citations for fraudulent use of Disabled Parking Placards.
That brings to 65 the number of people cited for doing that in the Oxnard and Ventura areas since April.
The main violations are either using expired placards or using placards that belong to other people.
Fines for doing that range from $250 to $1,000.
Ventura County’s unemployment rate in June stood at 4.5 percent, up from May’s 3.8 but below the 5.2 percent recorded in June of last year.
It was lower than the statewide average in California but the same as the national average.
As far as jobs are concerned, Ventura’s job market grew by more than 11,000 since June of last year.
Every sector showed either an increase or no change in jobs during the past twelve months except the Information sector that lost 200 jobs.