Bay Area Briefs

Friday September 27, 2002

East Bay parks slated for  

financial infusion 

A grant infusion of more than $770,000 was set aside today for Contra Costa County parks and public access areas thanks to measures taken by the state Coastal Conservancy. 

With funds made available through Proposition 12, California's largest park bond to date, county park officials will invest in both renovation and improvement projects at the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch and the Martinez waterfront, according to a Coastal Conservancy spokesman. 

The spokesman said that the conservancy will provide the East Bay Regional Park District with $429,000 to improve the museum and visitor center at the Hazel-Atlas Mine, a historic landmark within the Black Diamond Mines Park. 

Additionally, the conservancy has slated $29,500 for necessary renovations to Black Diamond's historic Rose Hill Cemetery, which over the years has become an unfortunate gathering spot for vandals. 

The city of Martinez will also receive $250,000 to construct a 433-foot shoreline retaining wall necessary to protect the waterfront's planned plaza and restored marina. The marina project is expected to revitalize the recreational and commercial usage of the city's waterfront. 

Man who led police on  

U.S. 101 chase killed self 

NOVATO – Authorities say a man who led police on a chase on northbound U.S. Highway 101 in Marin County early Thursday apparently shot himself to death after driving a stolen pickup truck off the road near the state Highway 37 interchange. 

Novato Police Capt. Reginald Lyles said a shotgun or rifle was found in the white Chevrolet pickup and the man had suffered massive head wounds.  

The California Highway Patrol this afternoon identified the victim as Raymond Kobzeff, 44, of Petaluma. 

Authorities say Kobzeff apparently wanted police to shoot him because he told a U.S. Park Police officer who initially confronted him at 3:04 a.m. in the Marin Headlands, “You will have to shoot me.” 

U.S. Park Service Police Officer Michael Griffin approached Kobzeff at Conzelmann and McCullough roads when he determined that the 1990 Chevrolet pickup had been stolen in Petaluma and allegedly saw drug paraphernalia inside the truck. 

Griffin was dragged several feet when Kobzeff started driving away as the officer reached into the truck to try to shut off the engine, authorities said. 

The California Highway Patrol joined Griffin in the eight-minute, 12-mile pursuit through San Rafael. Authorities said Kobzeff drove as fast as 100 mph before slowing down to 40 mph and pulling off the highway near the state Highway 37 interchange in Novato. 

A special response team from the Novato Police Department searched the marshy, brushy area for Kobzeff, who at first was believed to have fled the truck. 

He was found dead inside the vehicle around 6:30 a.m.