In-custody death in Midway District
At 3:34 p.m. June 11, the Police Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call from a resident in the 2900 block of Hornet Way, saying a male entered his residence through a rear door and was currently in front of his house acting strangely. An officer arrived and attempted to take the suspect into custody. The suspect resisted the officer’s attempts to handcuff him and began struggling until two more officers arrived to help. The officers used physical force and strikes to the arms to get the suspect handcuffed.
Believing the suspect to be demonstrating symptoms of excited delirium, police requested paramedics. As the paramedics began assessing the suspect’s condition, he became unresponsive and life-saving measures were initiated. The suspect was transported to a local hospital, and was pronounced dead at 4:49 p.m.
From witness interviews, it was learned the suspect broke down the rear fence to the residence and entered an open rear door. Two adults were upstairs, while their 9-year-old daughter was asleep downstairs. The male resident came downstairs when he heard the commotion and confronted the suspect. A fight ensued and the resident punched the suspect twice, rendering him unconscious. The resident kicked the suspect, who woke up and ran out of the house and began displaying bizarre behavior until the police arrived and the additional struggle ensued. The resident and witnesses believed the suspect was under the influence of drugs.
The suspect has been identified as 40-year-old Buddie Thomas Nichols, originally from Indiana. Another radio call, in the same area a short time earlier, could be related. That caller said the male was attempting to open doors to residences in the 2900 block of Belknap Way.
OB man found guilty of 2nd-degree murder
Noah Mitchell Jackson, a 21-year-old man from Ocean Beach, was found guilty by a jury on May 31 for second-degree murder in the death of a transient known to the community as the “Incense Man,” who sold incense at the OB Farmers Market. The victim’s name was Walter (Ras) Riley, and he was found fatally wounded in the 1900 block of Bacon Street at 12:30 a.m. on June 22, 2017. after having been stabbed five times. San Diego Superior Court Judge Michael Groch set sentencing for Aug. 23. Jackson could receive a sentence of 16 years to life.
Bicycle injury on Rosecrans St.
At 8:47 p.m. June 7, a 32-year-old male was riding his bicycle northbound in the southbound bike lane of 3500 Rosecrans St. The bicyclist had a male passenger sitting behind him. A 21-year-old female was stopped at the driveway exit on the west side of Rosecrans Street in her 2013 Honda Civic. She was looking to her left for the oncoming southbound traffic. Once traffic cleared, she moved forward and crashed into the bicyclist and his passenger. The bicyclist sustained an open fracture of left tibia and fibula. His passenger was not injured and fled the hospital. The female driver was not injured. No DUI. Traffic Division is investigating.
Weapon-involved robbery at 7-Eleven
On June 7 at 11:08 p.m., a white male suspect entered the 7-Eleven gas station at 4205 Voltaire St. and approached the clerk. He lifted his shirt to reveal the handle of a gun in his waistband, and demanded money. The clerk gave him an unknown amount of cash and the suspect fled southbound on Catalina Boulevard. The suspect was described as a white male, late 20s to early 30s, about 6 feet tall and 170-180 pounds, short brown hair, clean shaven, wearing a black jacket, white shirt and blue jeans. Robbery detectives are investigating.
7-Eleven robbery with weapon #2
On June 8, a white male suspect walked into the 7-Eleven gas station at 3185 Midway Drive and pulled a gun from his waistband and placed the gun on the counter pointed in the direction of the clerk, then demanded money. The clerk gave the suspect an unknown amount of cash, which was put in a bag. The suspect put the gun back in his waistband and fled northbound on East Drive into the Target parking lot. The suspect was described as a white male, late 20s to early 30s, 180 pounds with short brown hair and a mustache. He was wearing a black baseball cap, black jacket, white shirt, blue jeans and black shoes. Robbery detectives are investigating. Contact Watch Commander Officer Robert Heims or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
Suspect in OB murder pleads not guilty
Daniel Chase McKibben, 36, has pleaded not guilty after being accused of killing his mother, Heidi Green, 59, in a home in the 5000 block of Niagara Avenue on May 1. McKibben was shot in the hand by police as they attempted to arrest him as he was allegedly armed with a knife. McKibben was taken to a hospital while in custody and still remains there. The prosecutor said the facts of the case were not discussed at the hospital arraignment where he was represented by a public defender. He remains in custody without bail and is in stable condition.
Surfer assault leads to prison term
34-year-old Paul Taylor Konen was sentenced to five years in state prison for clubbing a surfer on the head with a paddle at Sunset Cliffs in the summer of 2018.
The victim, 56-year-old Kevin Eslinger, is a Point Loma resident and had been a surfing coach in East County, and had been a swim teacher at El Cajon Valley High School and Heartland Swimming Association for about three decades.
Eslinger and his wife, Janae Kelley-Eslinger, went surfing the morning of June 26 at a surf spot called The Boil, near Ladera Street. He said Konen blocked his way, then blocked his wife’s way.
The two men argued, then Konen started paddling away. Eslinger followed Konen to continue scolding him, lying flat on his surfboard and paddling with his hands. He said the paddleboard cut across his path near his head, he put out his hands, then blacked out.
Eslinger suffered a gashed head and his wife got him to a hospital. Eslinger testified that it’s hard for him to communicate, he suffers pain in his head, has difficulty sleeping and his medical bills have topped $100,000, but most was covered by insurance.
Judge Robert Trentacosta said he found the testimony of Eslinger and his wife to be credible and did not believe Konen’s testimony that he felt afraid for his life because Eslinger approached him. Konen was given two years in prison for the assault and three years for causing great bodily injury.
Police clear cliff encampment
After recently forcing three men to evacuate an encampment in a cave near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, Captain Scott M. Wahl of the Neighborhood Policing Division said the police have handled encampments in that area in the past, but need the public’s help in notifying them when inhabitants return or others set up camp.
If you see encampments in the beach or park area, call the non-emergency police line at (619) 531-2000.
Hash oil lab raided, man arrested
Law enforcement raided a small, butane hash oil extraction lab in the afternoon of May 17 at an apartment complex on Loma Riviera Court, north of West Point Loma Boulevard.
“During the execution of the warrant, agents seized a small, butane hash oil extraction operation; marijuana plant material, several butane canisters and finished hash oil,” DEA spokeswoman Special Agent Kameron Korte told The San Diego Union-Tribune in an e-mail.
A man was arrested at the dwelling.
The discovery of the lab was the third in two days in San Diego County, said authorities.
Three Point Loma families find swastika tagging
Three homes on Santa Barbara Street in the Point Loma Heights neighborhood were tagged with swastikas, measuring two feet by two feet, all written in blue chalk at unknown times, in late May. One home was tagged twice, once on a retaining wall and again on the entrance to the property. The other two homes were tagged on their retaining walls facing the street.
Police said it’s unclear whether the tagging was an act of vandalism or a hate crime. Only one of the three families was Jewish. One swastika was discovered by a neighbor, another by the 11-year-old son of the family and the third by a guest visiting for Memorial Day weekend. The families said nothing like this had happened before.
Police canvassed the area looking for witnesses and interviewed neighbors. They also looked for video footage that might have captured the tagging.
Assaults: 27 incidents
Drugs/Alcohol Violations: 55 citations
DUI’s Drugs/Alcohol: 14 citations
Fraud: 13 reports
Rape: Rape: 3 — 3700 block Curtis, 3 a.m. May 19; 2800 block Laning Road, 2 a.m. June 8; 4900 block Cape May, 12:30 a.m. June 12.
Other Sex Crimes: 3200 block Tennyson, 11:55 a.m. April 19.
Residential Burglary: 19 — 4300 block W. Point Loma, 6:30 p.m. May 13; 4300 W. Point Loma, noon May 10; 3100 block Udall, 1 a.m. May 18; 900 block El Mac, 8:32 p.m. May 16; 4600 block Del Mar, 4:30 p.m. May 15; 4400 block Algeciras, 7 p.m. May 19; 4800 block Bermuda, 2:30 a.m. May 22; 3600 block Wawona, 6 p.m. May 22; 5000 block Del Monte, 4:15 p.m. May 24; 500 block Catalina, 7:30 p.m. May 22; 4400 block Saratoga, 4:48 p.m. May 29; 4000 block Atascadero, 4 a.m. May 20; 1100 block Alexandria, 8:40 a.m. May 31; 4400 block Saratoga, 8 a.m. May 24; 4200 block Newport, 12:01 a.m. May 31; 4200 block Coronado, 9:30 p.m. June 6; 3800 block Midway, 6 p.m. June 7; 3500 block Curtis, 8 a.m. June 1; 5100 block Long Branch, 12:01 a.m. June 10.
Commercial Burglary: 7 — 2900 block Nimitz, 5 p.m. May 3; 3600 block Midway, 4 a.m. May 8; 2800 block Historic Decatur, 12:30 a.m. May 17; 3400 block Midway, 8:30 p.m. May 31; 3600 block Midway, 8:44 p.m. May 15; 3600 block Midway, 5:11 p.m. June 6; 4200 block Voltaire, 11 p.m. June 7.
Street Robberies: 2 — 700 block Ventura, 8:08 p.m. April 21; 3400 block Midway, 1:12 p.m. May 19.
Grand Theft (over $950): 8 reports
Petty Theft/Shoplifting: 36 reports
Vandalism: 19 incidents
Vehicle Break-ins: 40 reports
Vehicle Theft: 21 reports
—Compiled by Savanah Duffy from San Diego Police Reports