Late last week I had called Officer David Surweilo, the Community Relations Officer for Ocean Beach, for any updates on the San Diego police investigations into the various assaults and violence, including some sexual assaults, that had occurred in OB since August. I had emailed him a list of the violent and sexual assaults. Surweilo promised a report this week – now, that’s no easy feat, as Surweilo is the community relations officer for all of Western Division.
Yesterday, Surweilo asked Detective Sgt Paul Solis to make the call back, and here is what Solis reported to me – Solis is actually an acting lieutenant of investigations.
Of the various incidents, Solis had info on 5 of them.
August 15 grope in Robb Field:
Detectives had interviewed the victim, and with her help, they did a complete composite of the assailant. Since then, police have received several tips, and there have been several field interviews. They showed a photo line-up to the victim, but as yet, she has been unable to identify any people in those photos as the groper.
Saratoga Peeping Tom
Police do have some potential DNA evidence, some potential finger-print evidence, as well as some clothing-type evidence on the Peeping Tom who operated on Saratoga Avenue. But at this point, police do not have a lead as to who the suspect is. They are awaiting lab work also. Police have done some saturation patrols in the area, have contacted residents, and have one good witness. Other witnesses exist but are only “partial witnesses” as they didn’t see that much. Photos of suspects have been shown the one good witness but he was unable to identify the Peeper.
But since the patrols, Solis said, there have been no additional complaints of any such or similar behavior in the area.
Oktoberfest Violence #1
During the Oktoberfest shindig in OB back in October, there were two violent incidents. In the first incident, there were two assaults, one victim was stabbed, and another person was punched. These occurred in the 5000 block of Niagara – the street the OB Pier is on. Both involved homeless or transients, and both cases have been difficult to follow-up, as the victims have left the area. One family member of the punched victim was contacted, but this is where the investigation stands.
Oktoberfest Violence #2
In the second incident, a male victim was stabbed in front of Cheswicks on Newport Ave. The suspect was arrested for a felony. A preliminary hearing was held recently, and the case is going to trial.
Racial Assault on Newport
Back in mid-November, there was a probable racial hate crime, where a young Anglo man was speaking in Spanish to a Mexican-American friend when a guy made a racial slur and slammed the white guy’s head into a brick wall. He fell unconscious and was taken to a hospital for 7 staples in his scalp. His Mexican friend followed the assaulter for a block or two, and then was assaulted himself by the male perpetrator.
A bouncer of a local bar may have broken up the assault. A second witness was interviewed by police. She had seen the victim and had called police herself. By time police arrived on the scene that night, the victims had gone to a hospital, but they contacted Western Division afterwards. Sgt. Solis told me that police are treating this very seriously.
If anyone has any info on these or any other assaults or violence in OB, call police at 619-692-4800. We will have to contact the Sex Crimes Unit for updates on the several sexual assaults.