Bay Area Briefs

Tuesday September 17, 2002

Alleged gambling operation busted in Redwood City 

REDWOOD CITY – A 47-year-old restaurant manager was arrested Sunday for allegedly using a Redwood City taqueria a cover for an illegal gambling operation, San Mateo County Sheriff's Office said. 

Gerardo Delrio Rivera, of Menlo Park, is accused of permitting gambling at Tacos El Camino, selling alcohol to minors, and other business violations, Lt. Michael Lopez said. 

Sheriff's deputies raided the restaurant, located at 2627 El Camino Real, at around 12:30 a.m. Sunday and allegedly found between 60 and 80 gamblers playing cards. 

Authorities seized $2,896 in cash, 30 decks of cards, 152 pairs of dice, and a two-way radio. The gambling patrons were released at the scene. 

Rivera was booked in San Mateo County jail for gambling related violations and was released after posting $10,000 bail.  

He is scheduled to appear a San Mateo County courtroom to faces the charges on Oct. 22. 

Panhandling ordinances start up in Santa Cruz 

SANTA CRUZ – The life of a panhandler in downtown Santa Cruz got a little more difficult this week. 

The Santa Cruz City Council in July passed a number of ordinances pertaining to panhandlers and loiterers in certain areas of downtown. Some of those ordinances went into effect this week, according to Trisha Husome with the Santa Cruz City Clerk's Office. 

As a result, people will no longer be able to ask for spare change or block the sidewalk within 14 feet of stores, cafes, and other downtown businesses. The practice is also outlawed at bus stops, near crosswalks, on public transportation vehicle, near banks or ATM machines or while sitting on public property such as the downtown benches. 

The council also passed an ordinance prohibiting the display of noncommercial display devices, such as the cardboard signs often used by panhandlers.  

Oakland man arrested in connection  

with slaying of grandfather 

OAKLAND – Police report that a 24-year-old Oakland man is in custody on suspicion of shooting to death his sleeping grandfather. 

Kimsoth Chea could be arraigned today in connection with the killing of Chea Prak, 79, of Oakland, according to Sgt. Gus Galindo of the Oakland Police Department's Homicide Division. 

Officers were dispatched to 1211 Eighth St. at about 1 a.m. Sunday on a report of a shooting. When officers arrived at the residence, they found the Prak shot dead in his bed. 

East Palo Alto man’s body flown  

to Greece instead of Mexico 

EAST PALO ALTO — The body of an East Palo Alto man headed to his hometown in Mexico for burial took an long, unexpected detour and instead ended up in Greece. 

Instead of finding the body of family patriarch Robert Castaneda, 68, in the casket that arrived in his hometown of Apatzingan in the Mexican state of Michoacan, weeping relatives found the body of a black man with a cigar and a book with a picture of the World Trade Center on the cover. 

Castaneda was nowhere to be found. A relative in Mexico immediately phoned family members in East Palo Alto to say Castaneda’s body was missing.