Bay Area Briefs

Wednesday October 16, 2002

Former priest arrested 

for sexual assualts 

SAN RAFAEL – The San Rafael Police Department arrested a former Catholic priest Tuesday for sexual offenses he allegedly committed against a teen girl during the 1970s. 

Police said they arrested Anthony Murnig, 59, at his home in Sonoma County and then booked him into the Marin County Jail on a felony warrant. His bail is set at $1 million. 

The Marin County District Attorney was notified in May by the San Francisco Archdiocese of victims who had reported instances of sexual abuse at the hands of church officials. 

According to the Police Department, an unidentified woman reported that Murnig repeatedly assaulted her between 1970 and 1974 while he was in residence at St. Sebastian Church in Greenbrae and a faculty member at Marin Catholic High School. 

She told police that the first assault occurred in the church rectory when she was 15 and that they continued on a regular basis over the next four years at various church locations and at Murnig's home. 


Sudden Oak Death council grows 

SANTA ROSA – Sonoma County's Board of Supervisors today was expected to join a council comprised of the 12 Bay Area counties affected by Sudden Oak Death. 

The proposed California Sudden Oak Death Coastal Counties Council would work with the state’s Oak Mortality Task Force in getting their legislative delegations to fund the fight against the disease that has killed tens of thousands of oak trees and infected unrelated plant species in northern California and southern Oregon. 

The resolution before the supervisors states that “a structure is needed to coordinate the efforts of counties, cities and special districts affected by Sudden Oak Death in pursuit of the continuing government funding necessary to fight the disease.” 


Neighboring cops could shed light on bank robbery 

BURLINGAME – Police in neighboring cities may recognize at least one of the robbers who shot and killed a manager during a bank takeover in Burlingame last week. 

Investigators from Redwood City, Palo Alto and San Mateo County sheriff’s detectives are scheduled to meet with Burlingame police later this week to share information on the suspect. 

Police in the other cities recognized one of the robbers in a bank surveillance photo because of a white bandage on his nose. Burlingame police believe the robber fired the bullet that killed bank manager Alice Martel, 34, on Friday. 

Investigators say a man matching that description stood lookout during a Sept. 16 robbery of a Palo Alto restaurant. On Sept. 12, the same man, with his taped-up nose, robbed a Shell gas station in Redwood City. 

Burlingame police released surveillance photos of the three suspects Sunday. Wells Fargo is offering a $50,000 reward.