Fullerton city manager Joe Felz – smelled of booze – lost control of his car – taking a sidewalk – crashing into a small tree – before skidding back on the street

Fullerton, California

Fullerton city manager Joe Felz failed to curb his enthusiasm after making the rounds at election parties. He lost control of his car around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning taking a sidewalk at the 300 block of W. Glenwood and crashing into a small tree before skidding back on the street.

An internal Fullerton police department memo obtained by the Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog reveals that a sergeant noted Felz smelled of booze when stopped by police. Fullerton police chief Dan Hughes, who’s leaving soon to head up security at Disneyland, notes in the memo that he got an early morning call from the watch commander about the incident and told a field sergeant to conduct a field sobriety test.

A source tells the Weekly that Sgt. Jeff Corbett was the one who determined that Felz had been drinking, but not enough to warrant a DUI arrest. Fullerton police offered no response when asked if its within policy for a sergeant to do a field sobriety test, and if it was conducted alone without another officer present to stand as witness.

A tow truck hauled away Felz’s wrecked car. Debris from the crash was visible at the scene the morning after. Hughes assured his department that if Felz had driven drunk, the investigation would have been handed over to the California Highway Patrol. No need, the chief said. Felz was merely involved in a “minor single vehicle collision.” But Fullerton police logs were unavailable online as of yesterday afternoon.


Displaced business owner hijacks Tustin’s Wikipedia page to vent “Since 2009, Tustin has changed and is no longer a ‘Business Friendly’ community,” the introduction pronounced

Tustin, California

If, earlier this week, you clicked on Tustin’s Wikipedia page to research the city’s demographics or history, you may have found yourself either confused or amused.

“Since 2009, Tustin has changed and is no longer a ‘Business Friendly’ community,” the introduction pronounced.

The bio went on to list examples indicating Tustin’s “bad business climate” – mainly, the City Council’s recent vote to rezone a 7-acre piece of property from industrial to residential.

By Thursday morning, not long after city officials were approached for a comment, the Wikipedia entry had returned to its usual tone – dryly stating geographical location, population statistics and such.

“We don’t monitor Wikipedia every day,” said City Manager Jeff Parker. “But if someone brings something to our attention, we check to make sure things are accurate. Wikipedia is supposed to be as factual as possible – not opinion-based.”

So whodunnit? All clues hinted at one of the disgruntled tenants forced to leave the soon-to-be-leveled industrial complex, wedged between Old Town and the I-5. In September, about 30 businesses there received notice that their month-to-month leases would not be renewed by their landlord, who wanted to sell the property.

A 140-unit condominium complex is scheduled to break ground on the lot next spring.

Perhaps the project’s most vocal critic is Lyann Courant, co-owner of Advantage Manufacturing, which makes swimming pool pumps. Under a tight deadline, she and her husband moved their equipment and 23 employees to Santa Ana last week.

Asked if she knew anything about the Wikipedia hack, Courant responded, “I wouldn’t say it was ‘hacked’ exactly. Anyone can post on Wikipedia.”

Quite right, said the nonprofit’s spokeswoman Samantha Lien.

“By its very nature, Wikipedia will always be a work in progress,” she said. “It’s a living encyclopedia that can be updated in real time.”

Courant eventually acknowledged that she was the one who wrote the anti-Tustin rant.

“I’ve been screaming from the social media rooftops as loudly as I can,” she said. “Social media and the web in general give the average person an opportunity to share their side of the story in a way that was never possible before.”

Founded in 2001, now ubiquitous Wikipedia enjoys an almost all-knowing reputation – as though its words come from experts on the subject – despite myriad college professors warning students against using it as a primary source.

“That is the problem – people perceive Wikipedia as absolutely factual,” Parker said.

Yet anyone with a computer can easily insert information – as well as opinions and even fake news – simply by hitting the “edit” button.

That feature keeps Wikipedia ever-current, unlike a dusty set of World Books. But it also makes the site vulnerable to unvetted material, despite the site’s policy encouraging neutral and well-cited articles.

A University of California, Santa Cruz, study in 2010 estimated that about 7 percent of all edits to Wikipedia articles constitute “vandalism.”

Usually, it’s readers themselves who make the corrections, Lien said, adding, “The more eyes on a page, the more reliable and balanced its information.”

Needless to say, Tustin does not attract the traffic that a contentious news event or famous celebrity might.

Courant offers no apology for “enhancing” Wikipedia’s Tustin page.

“Yeah,” she said, “it was a little satisfying.”

Contact the writer: sgoulding@scng.com


Shots Fired – SWAT Teams – Helicopters Landing – Police Dogs – Armored Vehicles – School Lockdowns – Road Closures TV News – Overtime – and One Boy Burglar

April 10, 2014

Tustin, California –

Shots were fired when a police officer confronted a man reportedly seen walking with a sawed-off shotgun near an apartment complex Thursday morning, officials said, prompting a “soft lockdown” of 10 nearby schools for more than four hours.

The man fled from officers after the shooting, officials said, sparking a search through several nearby apartment buildings. He was taken into custody before 2 p.m., uninjured, said Sgt. Andrew Birozy of the Tustin Police Department. The school lockdown was lifted after the man was taken into custody.

He was identified as Henry Justin Herrera, a 20-year-old Tustin resident. He was taken into custody after a resident reported seeing him in the area, Police Chief Charles Celano said. Officers responded and ordered Herrera to get on the ground.

No weapon has been recovered, Celano said.

The shooting was reported near Nisson Road and Red Hill Avenue, a busy area surrounded by shops, homes and apartment buildings. It was not clear who fired, and police did not immediately disclose other details of the shooting.

“This is a very populated area,” said Celano said. “We have businesses and children walking around.”

No officers were hurt, Birozy said.

Herrera was taken into custody on suspicion of brandishing a weapon. According to court records, he was arrested earlier this year on burglary charges, pleaded guilty to the charges in February and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

The shooting occurred about 9 a.m., after witnesses reported seeing an armed man in the area, Birozy said. Officers saw the man running toward an area of two-story apartment buildings in the 1600 block of Nisson Road.

Tustin officers set up a perimeter and shut down Red Hill from Nisson to Mitchell Avenue as they searched for the man, Birozy said. By noon, Red Hill was open to traffic. Nisson Road remained shut down from Red Hill to Browning Avenue until 2 p.m.

Police searched multiple apartment buildings in the 1600 block of Nisson Road.

Harry Flores, a resident in the apartment buildings where police were searching, said he heard several pops Thursday morning but did not think they were gunshots. He left to run errands and returned to find heavily armed officers canvassing his neighborhood and helicopters overhead.

His wife and son were still in the building, he said. They told him they could hear officers yelling in the area, asking someone to surrender to officers.

Neighboring law-enforcement agencies were called to assist in the search, Birozy said, including Irvine police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Seven schools in the Tustin Unified School School District were placed on a “soft lockdown” as a precaution, said Mark Eliot, spokesman for the district. Students were asked to remain in classrooms, and outdoor activity was being limited.

After the soft lockdown was lifted, kids were released as normal after school. Sports activities continued as planned. The district sent out a phone and email message to parents letting them know what happened and that it was all clear. The schools locked down in the Tustin district were Lambert Elementary, Tustin High, Beswick Elementary, Veeh Elementary, Nelson Elementary, Utt Middle School and Currie Middle School.

St. Cecilia Catholic school and Calvary Christian School, both of which have preschool through eighth grade, were also locked down, officials with the schools said. Edgewood PrePrimary Academy, which has preprimary to kindergarten students, was also on lockdown, a school officials said.

Red Hill Lutheran School, kindergarten through eight grade, was not on lockdown, but outside activities were stopped as a precaution.

“There was never any threat to the schools, but some schools in the immediate area were put on soft lockdown,” Eliot said. “We’re thankful our school staff as well as police department for handling the situation safely and effectively.”

Contact the writer: 714-704-3788 or shernandez@ocregister.com


Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pointed to Ferguson, denouncing what Holder referred to this week as “unnecessarily extreme displays of force” by police.

The image of Ferguson, Mo., police officers in camouflage pointing high-caliber rifles from armored vehicles at unarmed protesters has crystallized a debate over whether a decades-long flow of military-grade equipment to the nation’s police departments has gone too far.

On both left and right, political figures as varied as Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pointed to Ferguson, denouncing what Holder referred to this week as “unnecessarily extreme displays of force” by police.

That debate fits into a larger pattern: A huge upsurge of mayhem in the 1970s and 1980s led to tough-on-crime measures across the country. Now, after two decades of improvements in most places, policies such as long, mandatory prison sentences and expansions of police surveillance are being questioned.

The use of military-style equipment by even small-town police departments is the latest tactic to come under scrutiny.