Updated--The Santa Paula man doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire while sleeping on a bench in Veteran's Memorial Park on May 13th has died.
56-year-old Antonio Fuentes died Tuesday at USC Burn Center in Los Angeles where he had been since the incident.
The man accused of setting him on fire, 36-year-old Jorge Chavez of Santa Paula, was charged with first degree murder and arson Thursday.
He is also facing two special circumstance allegations of murder by torture and murder with extreme cruelty.
If the DA pursues it and Chavez is ultimately convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Chavez pleaded not guilty to the murder and arson charges and he denied the special circumstance allegations plus a special allegation of use of a deadly weapon.
He remains in jail with bail set at $1 million although with the new charges that may change to no bail.
Chavez is due back in court on June 16th.
Police had described both Chavez and Fuentes as transients who frequented the Santa Paula area.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says they've made arrests in connection with robberies at two CVS pharmacies in Camarillo in March.
The robberies took place on March 16th and 28th at CVS pharmacies in the 700 block of Arneill Road and the 5200 block of Mission Oaks Boulevard.
The suspect took bottles of Promethazine with Codeine, a prescription drug that detectives say has become popular among drug abusers.
After the robbery photos of the male suspect were made public detectives received a tip from someone who identified a possible suspect.
After further investigation and evidence gathering, deputies, along with the FBI Tuesday went to a residence in the 2600 block of Balboa Street in El Rio and arrested two suspects in connection with the robberies.
They were identified as 21-year-old Loudwing Trujillo of El Rio and 20-year-old Leslie Rodriguez of Oxnard.
Both were already on active adult probation for unrelated theft cases.
Detectives say they found multiple bottles of Promethazine with Codeine plus other evidence linking the pair to both Camarillo robberies.
Ventura police say a prank with a fake gun landed a teen in trouble Tuesday night.
They say the VPD Gang Unit was patrolling in the area of Olive and Ramona streets around 8:30 PM when they saw a teenage male pointing what appeared to be a semi-automatic pistol at the face of another person.
Police say when the officers stopped to investigate, the teen with the gun put it in his waistband and ran and the officers gave chase.
They caught him after a short foot pursuit and found the weapon he was holding discarded along the path of the chase.
The handgun turned out to be a full size replica of a Barretta 92.
Police say their investigation revealed that the 15-year-old and the other person were friends and they staged the incident with the fake gun in order to get a reaction out of the public.
The 15-year-old was arrested and booked into Juvenile Hall for exhibiting a replica firearm in a threatening manner and resisting arrest.
A man charged with murder in connection with a fatal stabbing in Fillmore in 2015 has been allowed by prosecutors to plead guilty to the lessor charge of voluntary manslaughter instead.
The authorities say that 23-year-old Jorge Izarraraz of Fillmore killed 24-year-old Edgar Torres of Fillmore were involved in an altercation on November 2, 2015 in the area of Third and B streets in Fillmore.
They say during that incident Izarraraz stabbed Torres.
Torres died later at the hospital.
Izarraraz had been facing a murder charge but the DA's office this week let him plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter instead.
Izarraraz remains in jail pending sentencing on August 1st.
Santa Paula police say they arrested a man in connection with a stabbing in that city Tuesday night.
Just before 9 PM officers responded to a residence in the 500 block of Munger Drive to a report of an intoxicated male refusing to leave.
When they arrived they were told that 43-year-old Michael Delatorre of Santa Paula had fled in a dark colored Mercedes.
Other officers responding to the scene spotted the vehicle speeding away and stopped it and took Delatorre into custody.
Meanwhile officers learned that a stabbing victim had been taken from the residence to the hospital with non-life threatening wounds to his hand and side.
Police determined that Delatorre went to the residence to confront a subject and there was a fight and the stabbing happened.
They say that Delatorre was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence.
Ventura police say they arrested a suspect in connection with what they say was a crime spree early Wednesday morning.
They say it began shortly after midnight with the theft of liquor from the CVS in the 5900 block of Telegraph Road.
Police say a short time later a 34-year-old woman was sitting in her vehicle in the drive-thru at the McDonald's restaurant in the same shopping center when a man came up and leaned into the open driver's window, produced a knife and demanded money.
They say just then a witness came up on a bicycle and that distracted the suspect just long enough for the victim to speed away in her vehicle.
Witnesses also said the suspect had smashed the window of another vehicle in the parking lot before the attempted robbery at the McDonald's.
The suspect fled the scene but police were able to get a picture of him from the surveillance video and they searched the area and found the suspect in the 5600 block of Telephone Road.
Police say that 19-year-old Xavier Servin of Ventura resisted arrest and suffered a minor injury.
They say they found the property taken fromn CVS.
He was being checked out at VCMC before being booked into the Ventura County Jail for attempted robbery, shoplifting and resisting arrest.
(Photo courtesy California State Parks)
Governor Brown Tuesday awarded a Ventura lifeguard a State Employee Medal of Valor for a December 2015 rescue in the ocean off Faria Beach.
It was during one of the biggest El Nino driven surf events with 15-20 foot waves along a rocky shoreline.
California State Lifeguard Christopher Connolly "rescued a tiring surfer under the difficult conditions and at great peril to himself" according to the citation from the Governor's office.
It reads, "Lifeguard Connolly entered the water without hesitation. He swam to the victim, secured him to a life buoy, then fought wave sets while seeking a safe spot to exit the surf. Connolly traveled more than 3/4 of a mile in a swift current while attempts by first responders to reach the pair from shore failed. Connolly held the victim close for protection and talked the surfer through the ordeal. Eventually, Lifeguard Connolly was able to reach a sandy beach with his rescuee who was exhausted, but unhurt. Without the actions of Connolly, the surfer likely would have been lost to the pounding surf. Veteran State Parks lifeguards called Connolly’s efforts one of the most demanding and dynamic rescues ever witnessed."
Connolly, 44, is a seasonal lifeguard with California State Parks and has worked as a lifeguard for 16 years.
He is also a Spanish instructor at Ventura College and a volunteer with the Fillmore Fire Department, according to the Governor's Office.
(Photo courtesy Oxnard PD)
Oxnard police say they arrested three people following the pursuit of a stolen vehicle Tuesday night.
It began around 10:30 PM at "B" and Homer streets when police tried to pull over a vehicle and the driver failed to yield.
The pursuit went from there over to Ventura Road and then up Ventura Road to Fifth Street where the suspect driver lost control of the stolen 1995 Honda and crashed into a vehicle that was stopped at the intersection.
Police say the driver of the stolen vehicle, 24-year-old Carlos Ipatzi of Oxnard, tried to flee on foot but was chased and captured in the parking lot of the Von's.
He was booked into the Ventura County Jail for felony evading, auto theft, drug charges and resisting arrest.
Police say his two female passengers who stayed in the vehicle were arrested on misdemeanor drug charges and possession of stolen property.
There were no serious injuries reported in the incident.
(Photo is from Patrick Maynard Ventura County OES)
Updated--Los Angeles and Ventura County firefighters have contained a four acre brushfire in the Conejo Valley.
The fire was reported shortly after noon Tuesday in Westlake Village just over the line in Los Angeles County.
The fire burned near homes but move away from the structures and none were damaged or destroyed.
Water dropping helicopters helped hand crews and engine companies on the ground as they worked to contain the fire and extinguish it.
No word on how the fire started.
(Photo courtesy VCSO)
Detectives in the Ojai Valley say they arrested a Ventura woman in connection with the theft of a ring and another item from the home of her ex-husband.
They say on May 16, 2017 deputies responded to a home in the 300 block of Camino Cielo in the Ojai Valley to a report of a burglary.
The resident said someone had entered the home that day and had taken an answering machine and a newly purchased 1.40 carat diamond ring valued at $5,397.
Deputies say during the investigation the victim's ex-wife, 56-year-old Lisa Marie Brokaw of Ventura, became a possible suspect.
Detectives conducted a follow-up investigation that included surveillance on Brokaw.
They say when they contacted her, Brokaw confessed to the burglary and led detectives to the place where she hid the answering machine and diamond ring.
Friday she was arrested at her home on Poli Street in Ventura and booked into the Ventura County Jail.
Jail records indicate she was released on $50,000 bail the same day and is due back in court for arraignment June 5th.
Deputies in Camarillo say they're continuing to investigate reports that citizens have been victimized by credit/debit card skimming thieves.
The authorities say they've received "several" reports from people who believe their credit or debit cards have been compromised.
They've not released information on suspected locations.
Detectives say they are investigating the reports and are working with the financial institutions that are involved.
They also say they are regularly checking the credit/debit card machines in Camarillo and they are asking anyone who believes they've been a victim to call (805) 654-9511.
Skimmers are devices that thieves place on ATM's or other credit/debit card readers, like at gasoline stations or check out stands, that can record the information contained on the card.
The thieves then retrieve the skimmer and download the information.
In some cases thieves also watch or devise ways to monitor the person as they enter a PIN number.
These crimes are not new and have happened all over Ventura County in the past.
There have been arrests in the past, sometimes involving organized crime groups.
The authorities say always make it difficult for people to see you enter a PIN number and keep a close eye on credit/debit card and bank statements for any unauthorized activity.
Update---Five people were sent to three hospitals following a three vehicle crash in the Ojai Valley Monday evening.
It was reported around 8:20 PM on Highway 33 just north of Creek Road in Oak View.
Ambulances transported one person to VCMC, two to CMH and another two were taken to Ojai Valley Hospital.
The extent of injuries was not known.
The incident had Highway 33 shut down in both directions for a couple of hours Monday night.
The CHP is investigating the crash.
(Photos by Katie Gee)
Update--The wayward whale that caused a stir Saturday at Ventura Harbor is back out to sea.
Harbormaster John Higgins told KVTA News they conducted a thorough search of the harbor Sunday morning and confirmed the 30-foot humpback was gone.
He says it likely found its way out sometime overnight.
Dr. Rachel Cartwright, a biologist and lecturer at Cal State Channel Islands, told KVTA News the juvenile humpback looked to be in good health and probably just wandered into Ventura Harbor Saturday while looking for food on its northward migration.
She said the decision by the Coast Guard and wildlife experts to use a hydrophone to play whale feeding sounds was a good idea and those in charge handled the situation very well.
Higgins says that Saturday night they decided to reposition the hydrophone away from the whale near the harbor entrance to see if it might help the humpback find its way back out to sea.
Cartwright says that was a good idea although she thinks the whale simply figured out on its own how to get out of the harbor.
The incident brought hundreds of human onlookers to the harbor.
Higgins says people acted very responsibly.
Cartwright says whales love people and the humpback was probably not bothered by the crowd.
Ventura police are looking for the suspect in a stabbing.
It was reported shortly after midnight Sunday morning at 450 W. Harrison Avenue on the west side of town.
They say the victim, an adult male, was with some friends at Westpark when they were approached by other individuals.
Police say that two males began to fight and the victim tried to intervene and was stabbed multiple times.
The suspect and others fled the scene.
The victim was taken to the hospital where police say he was in serious but stable condition.
Oxnard police are investigating a shooting that left one person wounded early Sunday morning.
They say around 2:35 AM Sunday, officers responded to a report of a shooting in the area of Dodge Road and Maulhardt Road which is near a mobile home park southeast of Pleasant Valley Road and Rice Avenue.
Police say they found a male from Simi Valley suffering from what police say was a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
That person was taken to the hospital for treatment and is expected to recover.
Meanwhile, police are looking for a suspect and motive for the shooting.
(Photo courtesy Oxnard Police Department)
Oxnard police were involved in an extensive foot pursuit and search for a man armed with what turned out to be a stolen rifle.
Around 9 PM Saturday night officers responded to the area of the 1400 block of Halesia Lane in a residential area just east of Saint John's Medical Center.
They had received a report of a man with a rifle.
When they approached the man, he fled on foot and officers set up a perimeter and began an extensive search that was helped by a number of calls from residents reporting the various locations of the suspect.
After about a half hour, an officer spotted the subject in the 1100 block of Paseo Las Nubes and he was taken into custody.
A short distance away they found the rifle.
It was not loaded.
Police say the rifle was taken that evening in a residential burglary in the 2000 block of Rohdea Way.
They say the suspect, 25-year-old Joe Mukul of Oxnard, was also found in possession of property taken in another residential burglary in the 2000 block of Vinca Way.
(Photo courtesy Oxnard Police Department)
In the wake of three homicides in one week, Oxnard police with the help of Ventura police and the sheriff's department, served simultaneous search warrants Friday night at three locations in Oxnard.
They say a 14-year-old was arrested for attempting to flee from officers.
A gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition was also seized during the operation.
Meanwhile, police say they plan to beef up patrol presence and have created a special investigative working group as they continue to look for suspects and a motive for the shooting deaths of 29-year-old Aaron Austin, 23-year-old Eduardo Viveros and 42-year-old Jorge Coria.
Austin and Viveros were killed Tuesday night at two locations in the city while Coria died Friday morning at a third location.
They are the 7th, 8th and 9th homicide victims in Oxnard this year.
Police are looking into whether the deaths of Austin and Viveros are connected but they said Friday they do not believe that Coria's killing is related to the other two.
In a statement Friday night, police said Coria "has affiliation with a known Oxnard gang. The motive for the murder is unknown, but gang motivation has not been ruled out."
They have said in the past that Austin and Viveros were not tried to gangs.
Police have said they also need the public's help, not only with information related to these three particular cases, but to immediately report any suspicious activity.
The City of Oxnard offers a $10,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction in homicide cases.
If you have information about this homicide, or any of the recent homicides, please contact Sergeant Alex Arnett at (805) 385-7763, or Detective Edgar Fernandez at (805) 385-7645.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can still provide valuable information to detectives by texting the Violent Crimes Hotline at (805) 394-8370 or calling Ventura Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
You can also visit www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org to submit a tip via text or email.
Oxnard police say they arrested a teenage girl who led them on a vehicle pursuit Friday.
They also say they arrested a teenage male who tried to run with a gun from the vehicle.
The incident happened around 6 PM when officers attempted to make a traffic stop on a small red SUV at Rice Avenue and Hueneme Road.
Police say the driver, a 15-year-old girl from Oxnard, stopped briefly and then quickly accelerated and there was a short pursuit.
During the pursuit the vehicle slowed to allow a male passenger to run into a field where he was captured.
Police say that 19-year-old Rafael Alvarado of Oxnard discarded a gun during the foot pursuit and it was recovered.
Meanwhile the 15-year-old female driver of the vehicle sped off a second time but finally stopped a short distance away.
She was taken into custody and lodged into Juvenile Hall for felony evading.
Alvarado was booked into the Ventura County Jail for weapons violations.
Police say there were eight other occupants in the SUV including four juvenile runaways who were returned to their parents.