Newspaper Archive of
The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
January 23, 2015     The Catalina Islander
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January 23, 2015

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Shots were fired across bow of panga near Catalina Island BY JIM WATSON High seas drama erupted near Catalina last Saturday night when a Blackhawk helicopter belonging to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection fired several warning shots across the bow of a panga loaded with alleged smugglers and their illicit wares. It all began when a U.S. Coast Gaard C-130 spotted a "suspect ?anga" off the coast of La J011a racing towards Catalina. The crew of the C-130 noti- fied the San Diego office of the I A B ackhawk helicopter such es this one fired upon suspected smugglers in the waters near Santa Catalina Island last weekend. (Courtesy photo) Customs and Border Protection, which notified the crew of a Blackhawk helicopter already on patrol in the sl ies Over Catalina. Within an hour, the Blackhawk had confronted the panga and ordered it to stop. However, those aboard the ves- sel refused to comply and it was determined that warning shots would have to be fired. After firing several warning shots, the panga stopped. The crew of CBP's high-speed "Midnight Express" boat then arrived and took the three men aboard the panga into custody. According to the CBP, Airborne Disabling Fire protocol has been "developed to ensure there is no danger to the boating public." The policy employs a mount- ed bolt-action rifle fired by a Blackhawk crew member. "This is the first time on the west coast that we've deployed warning shots from an air asset down to the water," said Mitch Pribble, director of Air Operation's for CBP in San Diego. "You always want a vessel to stop when they are first directed to do so," he said. "However, when a suspected criminal chooses to flee, the ability to fire those warn- ing shots gives us another option that can be used to get them to stop before they become a greater danger to law enforcement per- sonnel, innocent civilians on the water, and themselves." The three men were turned over the U.S. Border Patrol for processing. I Golf cart theft incidents decrease 47 percent in 2014 no assumption of criminal guilt or affiliation should be drawn from the content of the informa- tion provided in this report," said Capt. Doug Fetteroll, commander The following is the Avalonof the station. "Many people who Sheriff's Station significant inci- get arrested do not get convicted dents report for the week of Jan8 or even charged with crimes for to Jan. 21. which they have been arrested, "It is important to note that said Fetteroll. Catalina Island Chlarter Captain Avcw21xa2y Now The Catalina Islander is starting a weekly service directory and offering the above sized ad for *$20/week! Get your business exposed! i CALL NOW "13 week minimum is unknown, pending a Coroner's investigation, but no foul play is suspected. January 8 An Avalon resi- dent report- ed being the victim of identity theft after his credit card information was used to purchase merchandise on-line. Capt. Doug Fetteroll Station commander January 9 Bruce Westrate, Male, 76, a resident of Two Harbors, was found deceased on his boat in Cat Harbor The cause of his death January 10 A 17 year old Avalon resident allegedly punched a family mem- ber and was arrested on suspicion of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. January 11 No significant incidents. January 12 Deputies investigated an alle- gation of child abuse on Whittley Avennel There was no evidence of a crime. January 13 An Avalon resident reported her wallet was stolen out of her Citizens Helping Our Island Children End Substance Abuse. CHOICES mission is to encourage community involvement in helping island youth make responsible decisions about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 310-848-4381 Help us make a difference, call today. Free Shipping For Catalina Island Residents Web Ordering Available! Check in-store pickup For free shipping! The Vape Store For The Rest of Us! Everything you need! Beginners to Advanced Users Friendly Service, No Snobbery! 2 t 39 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach Ca 90815 562-494-1442 purse which was in her shopping cart while she was in Vons. At 12:50 p.m., deputies located and arrested Vincent Garcia, Male, 45, a resident of North Hollywood, for the theft. The victim's prop- erty was recovered and returned to her. January 14 No significant incidents. January 15 No significant incidents. January 16 An Avalon resident reported her golf cart was stolen from the 200 block of Clarissa AvenUe. The cart was located one hour later in the same area it was alleg- edly stolen from. Sheriff's Log, Page 7 Call for Needs! Louie Montano (714) 788-6806 (310) 510-8395 Lic. #868397 Bonded Insured Rescue Dog Construction 4 i Friday, January 23, 2015 - THE CATALINA ISLANDER