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San Diego Padres Pitcher Jacob Nix Arrested in Arizona for Trespassing Through Doggie Door

San Diego Padres Pitcher Jacob Nix Arrested in Arizona for Trespassing Through Doggie Door

A doggie door plus a taser added up to a very bad night for a San Diego Padres starting pitcher in Arizona over the weekend.

Right-hander Jacob Nix, 23, was arrested in the early morning hours on Sunday after he attempted to enter a home that was not his through a doggie door.

The resident found Nix trying to crawl through the door and, according to police reports out of Peoria, Arizona, kicked Nix once in the face.

Nix was then pulled back through the doggie door by another Padres minor leaguer, Tom Cosgrove, and the two tried to leave the area. Police said the resident called 911, reached through the doggie door, and deployed a taser that hit Nix in the upper back.

Nix and Cosgrove were taken into custody a short time later not far from the victim’s home.

In an interview with police, Nix said he believed the home was his but, for a reason he could not explain, he went to the backyard and tried to enter the home through the doggie door — even though Nix said his residence does not have a doggie door.

Nix was charged with criminal trespassing. When asked for comment the Padres released the following statement:

“We are aware of the alleged incident involving Jacob Nix last Sunday in Arizona. We take this matter seriously and have been in contact with the Commissioner’s Office and local authorities. Due to the ongoing legal proceedings, we will not have any further comment at this time.” 

One of the Padres’ top-30 prospects, Nix is in Peoria playing with the Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League. The player started nine games for the Padres in 2018 and showed promise but missed most of this season with injuries


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Mandatory Evacuations Ordered for Brush Fire in San Jacinto

Mandatory Evacuations Ordered for Brush Fire in San Jacinto

A 200-acre brush fire that erupted Saturday in the Juniper Flats area between Perris and San Jacinto forced mandatory evacuations of more than 200 people and is 10% contained as of Sunday morning, authorities said.

It was reported at 5:52 p.m. in the 21000 block of Horseshoe Trail, Riverside County Fire Department spokesman Rob Roseen said.

The blaze was first reported at 10 acres but jumped to 75 acres by 6:40 p.m., Roseen said. Officials said the fire had grown to 100 acres by 8:40 p.m. There was no containment.

“The first arriving engine reported the fire burning in heavy fuels with a moderate rate of spread,” he said.

More than 200 firefighters were assigned to battle the fire along with two air tankers and one helicopter, Roseen said.

No injuries were reported.

At least 60 homes and more than 200 residents were under mandatory evacuation as of Saturday night, CAL Fire Riverside said.

Evacuations are in place in San Jacinto near the intersection of Cottonwood Avenue and Warren Road, CAL Fire Riverside said. Homes in this community, to the west of Warren Road and south of Mulberry Street, are under a mandatory evacuation, authorities said.

A care and reception center has been established at Tahquitz High School, located at 4425 Titan Trail in the city of Hemet.


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University of San Diego Student Is First American Climber to Qualify for 2020 Olympic Games

University of San Diego Student Is First American Climber to Qualify for 2020 Olympic Games

University of San Diego sophomore Brooke Raboutou is the first ever American climber to qualify for the Olympics.

Raboutou, who is fittingly from Boulder, Colorado, finished ninth in the combined qualification round at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Hachioji, Japan to punch her ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. The event features a speed round and lead and bouldering.

The 18-year-old has been climbing since she could walk and has been competing at a high level since she was just 7 years old. At 11, Raboutou became the youngest person in the world to climb a 5.14b which is a climb dedicated for elite athletes with years of experience.

The International Olympic Committee announced they would add sport climbing as a medal sport in the 2020 Summer Olympics in 2016. The committee combine three disciplines — Speed Climbing, Lead Climbing and Bouldering to the games.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics kick off July 24 on NBC 7.


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‘Brian Banks’ Movie Tells Story of San Diego Nonprofit’s Fight to Exonerate Wrongfully Convicted Man

'Brian Banks' Movie Tells Story of San Diego Nonprofit's Fight to Exonerate Wrongfully Convicted Man

A new movie that just debuted in theaters is highlighting the extraordinary story of Brian Banks and the San Diego attorneys who helped exonerate him.

In 2002, at just 17 years old, Banks was sentenced to six years in prison and forced to register as a sex offender for life for a rape he didn’t commit.

His accuser later reached out to him on Facebook and admitted to him on camera that she fabricated the story.

That’s when the California Innocence Project got involved.

Brian Banks’ Inspiring Life Story

[LA] Brian Banks' Inspiring Life Story

Banks had reached out to the San Diego-based nonprofit before, but with no indication that the victim was going to recant her story, they had to reject his case.

“In our system, the presumption of innocence goes away once you’re convicted. So now, we are starting with the presumption of guilt, and that’s very, very hard to undo,” said Alissa Bjerkhoel, litigation coordinator for the California Innocence Project.

Bjerkhoel said in order to reverse a conviction in California you must have “new evidence that completely undermines the prosecution’s case and points unerringly to innocence.”

The video with Banks’ accuser’s confession was just what they needed to prove his innocence.

“It was the type of evidence that is so compelling that you don’t get that very often, and as soon as I saw that video, I knew there was no way we were gonna turn this guy down,” Bjerkhoel said.

Bjerkhoel and the rest of the team at CIP, made up of mostly student volunteers from California Western School of Law, got to work.

Man With Guns, Body Armor Sparks Panic at Missouri Walmart

[NATL] Man With Guns and Body Armor Sparks Panic at Missouri Walmart

On May 24, 2012, with Bjerkhoel and CIP founder Justin Brooks by his side, the judge reversed Banks’ conviction.

“It’s so crazy how a decade of just a horrible life and all of the things that Brian had to go through literally just got undone in like one second, with just a few words — the judge just saying ‘petition granted,’” Bjerkhoel said. “It was overwhelming and I cried, Brian cried, and it was a very powerful moment.”

Bjerkhoel said seeing that powerful moment played out on the big screen still brings her to tears.

“Because it’s not just Brian’s case, but I have flashbacks of every single one of our clients where we’ve sat in that room and the judge says ‘petition granted,’and it is a flood of emotions, and it’s what we live for,” Bjerkhoel said.

The California Innocence Project gets about 1,500 new requests for assistance each year. To date, the nonprofit has helped to exonerate 27 people and have never charged for their services.

To learn more about the California Innocence Project and how you can help, visit www.californiainnocenceproject.org.


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Suspect Sought in Overnight Shootings That Left Three Dead in San Fernando Valley

Suspect Sought in Overnight Shootings That Left Three Dead in San Fernando Valley

A man suspected of fatally shooting his father and brother at a Canoga Park apartment was sought early Thursday by police.

Law enforcement sources tell NBC4 the man wanted for the double-murder also is suspected in an overnight shooting in North Hollywood. That shooting left one gas station employee dead and another hospitalized in critical condition.

Police were searching for Gerry Dean Zerogaza in connection with the shootings. 

The father and son killed early Thursday were were found dead at the apartment. A woman identified as the suspect’s mother was wounded in the shooting, but details about her condition were not immediately available.. 

No arrests were reported in the shooting in the 21900 block of Roscoe Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley community. Investigators said the shooting occurred in the residence.

Also Thursday morning, two employees were hospitalized after the gunfire at a Shell station near Vineland Avenue and Vanowen Street in North Hollywood. The woman died at the hospital.

A motive remained unclear.

NBC4’s Eric Leonard contributed to this report.


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Fans Descend on Gaslamp Quarter for Day 1 of San Diego Comic-Con

Fans Descend on Gaslamp Quarter for Day 1 of San Diego Comic-Con

Enthusiastic fans lined up outside the San Diego Convention Center overnight to be the first to step into San Diego Comic-Con 2019 for the first full day of panels, signings and exhibits. 

Thursday officially kicks off the 50th anniversary of one of the largest pop culture conventions in the world and tens of thousands of comic, movie and television enthusiasts were ready to descend on the halls.

On Preview Night Wednesday, open to only a select few, workers were putting the final touches on the all the branded exhibitions, like the Walking Dead-themed AMC “Deadquarters” installation, while enthusiastic fans lined up outside of the convention center to be some of the first inside the next day.

A few were already in full costume, including a man in a “Stranger Things” Hawkins Police uniform and an Australian couple dressed as Marty McFly and Doc Brown, although most opted for the nerd-approved t-shirt (there were more than a few AT-AT, Jurassic Park and Laura Palmer shirts) for badge pickup.

Those in full cosplay were grateful for the cooler-than-usual temperatures.

“I would be melting,” said Ana Nibbla of San Diego, who was dressed as a female Pennywise, or “Princess Pennywise” as she likes to call it.

She likes to hit the convention floor early to check out exclusives from artists who don’t go to conventions often. “This is the one time a year I get to see them in person,” she said.

Later, Warner Bros. hosted a ScareDiego event promising some hair-raising new footage from “It: Chapter Two.”

“This is my favorite, I’m a huge Stephen King fan,” said Cheryl Dolbel from Jersey in the Channel Islands, who was wearing a t-shirt with artist drawings of both Tim Curry and Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise. “We tried to go for the taping, but we couldn’t get in. We’ve been waiting a few hours.”

She’s hoping to see Skarsgård and James McAvoy and later in the week is going to visit the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” installation.

As the week goes on, movie fans will also get a look at Paramount’s “Terminator: Dark Fate” at a Hall H presentation Thursday, and on Saturday be treated to a Marvel Studios presentation with its president, Kevin Feige. Details for the Marvel show are being kept under wraps, but many expect Feige and his “special guests” will outline the plans for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which could include announcements about “Black Widow,” ”Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” ”Shang-Chi” and “The Eternals.”

The movie fare is lighter than usual, however. A few of the studios have chosen to sit this year out, like Sony, which is already cleaning up at the box office with “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” and Universal Pictures, which doesn’t have any superheroes on its slate at all. Although Warner Bros. is coming with “It: Chapter Two,” it does not have a big Hall H presentation planned for any of its DC properties like “Joker” and the Harley Quinn spinoff “Birds of Prey.” And there will be no “Star Wars” news either.

“If anything, the exiting of some movie studios has made more room for TV and TV is just the best of the best right now,” said Perri Nemiroff, a senior producer for Collider.com and host of the YouTube series Movie Talk.

Television enthusiasts will have their pick, whether they want one last go-around the cast of a show that’s ended (like “Game of Thrones” and “Supernatural”), to check in with some old favorites (“The Walking Dead,” ”The Good Place,” ”Westworld,” ”Arrow,” ”Rick and Morty” and “Riverdale”), or get first look at a new property (such as “Snowpiercer,” ”Star Trek: Picard” and “The Witcher”).

Occasionally this means throwing a Comic-Con newbie into the mix. HBO is bringing Lin-Manuel Miranda out for his first ever convention to promote the new show “His Dark Materials.”

Last month Miranda tweeted a modest request for fans: “Be gentle, it’s my first Comic-Con.” 


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Coyote Kills Family Dog Inside San Dimas Home

Coyote Kills Family Dog Inside San Dimas Home

After three coyote attacks on pets in a single night, a San Dimas family spoke out about the loss of its dog, which was killed by a coyote inside the family’s home, in the hopes that it will serve as a warning to other pet owners in the area. 

The Vanthiel family says that it had Noah, a Yorkie, for 8 years, and it considered the pooch more like family than a pet. So, the mourning family decided to put up flyers to warn everyone in the neighborhood and prevent further heartache.

Ciara Ullo, a member of the family, says, “He brought us happiness. People don’t realize, but pets are like children to us.”

“Noah was my boy, we did everything together,” Jeffrey Vanthiel, another member of the family mouring the dog’s death, says.

The Vanthiel family made the traumatic discovery Thursday night, when it found part of Noah’s remains on the floor.

“My husband walked in the room and started screaming, so we knew something horrible had happened,” Naisi Vanthiel says.

The family says it regularly left a locked 5-inch gap in their sliding glass doors at the home so that their dogs could get to the backyard. They believe that gap is how the coyote got into the home.

“There was forced hair on both sides, where that animal squeezed in through to get my little boy,” Jeffrey Vanthiel says.

The family says its other dog, 10-month-old Niko, was found alone and shivering inside the home.

“What puts us at peace is that we feel like he was protecting Niko,” Ullo says.

Jeffrey Vanthiel says, “[Noah] scarified himself for [Niko].”

More of Noah’s remains and his collar were found on the other side of their complex, where a neighbor spotted the coyote.

That night, two other dogs were attacked in the same community, with one of the other dogs also killed.

The family veterinarian told the Vanthiels that it’s “pup season” for coyotes.

“He said this is the time that they are having pups and looking for food. They need to feed their babies,” Naisi Vanthiel says.

The Vanthiels reported the incident to Animal Control, but they hope the loss of their companion will be a message and a warning for other pet owners.

Ullo says, “I want his passing to just help other people and save other fur babies.”

Ullo emotionally adds, “This is his purpose. We want everyone to be aware that it could happen to them because we never ever had that cross our mind.”


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Set in San Francisco, ‘Always Be My Maybe’ Breaks Stereotypes With Authenticity

Set in San Francisco, 'Always Be My Maybe' Breaks Stereotypes With Authenticity

Set in the streets of San Francisco, Netflix’s new original film “Always Be My Maybe” is a love letter to the city, and while it’s not a mold-breaking romantic comedy, Ali Wong and Randall Park show Hollywood that Asian Americans don’t fit into any tiny box.

Wong and Park brought their own experiences into the film and made an authentic love story between childhood friends Sasha and Marcus who grew up next door to each other in San Francisco, riding cable cars and fishing by the piers. The writers and actors say they just wanted to tell a heartfelt story about the characters’ reunion 15 years later when Sasha became a successful celebrity chef and Marcus still lives at home with his dad, playing in the same band.

“When I watch the movie again, I do see San Francisco in a way that I feel like I have not seen in film before. You know you never see the Richmond District or the Sunset District which is such a big part of my childhood,” said Wong, who grew up in Pacific Heights.

The film checks a lot of boxes on the “things you don’t ever get to see in Hollywood” list. Asian Americans rarely get to lead a blockbuster film, let alone be the lead in a romantic comedy where they find each other attractive. They are often portrayed in two extremes, either innocent or evil, but the characters in “Always Be My Maybe” are your neighbors, your co-workers and the people you went to school with.

“It was never a question of ‘should this be an Asian American story?’ it was always going be that. The question is: How do we make it entertaining? How do we make it universal? How do we make it feel like you understand and relate to these people in their journey and have it be satisfying?” said director Nahnatchka Khan, who has worked as a producer and writer with both Wong and Park on ABC’s “Fresh Off The Boat.”

Photo credit: Jennifer Gonzalez / NBC Bay Area


School friends Sasha and Marcus were close. She would come over to his house when her parents were busy working and Marcus’ mom would teach her how to make delicious Korean cuisine. In Asian cultures, like many others, food equals love. Wong, Park and film director Nahnatchka Khan named Turtle Tower and R&G Lounge, where Wong had her wedding banquet, as some of their favorite places in San Francisco.

Sitting on a balcony at the Fairmont Hotel with the Transamerica Pyramid behind her, Wong lamented how much the city has changed over the years.

“I just feel like every time I come home another business has been forced out, and the Punch Line really got to me because it’s such a special place to me that I came through. I’m hoping something can be done to save it because I don’t know where else comics are really going to develop and get their voice in San Francisco,” she said.

After her rise to fame in 2016 for the “Baby Cobra” comedy special, Wong said in an interview with New Yorker magazine that she wanted to do a movie like “When Harry Met Sally” but with her in it. Agents got wind of her wish and that’s when Park came into the picture.

The two attended UCLA together where Park was in a hip-hop group while he pursued a career in acting. Wong says Marcus’ character was largely inspired by Asian men she knew, and Park’s actual musical talent helped sell the act.

“I think that all of those other elements kind of just found their way into the script because it’s part of who we are,” Park said.

Photo credit: Jennifer Gonzalez / NBC Bay Area

Park wrote the lyrics he performed in the film and even got the help of Bay Area rapper like Lyrics Born, who portrays Marcus’ band mate, and Dan the Automator.

After Marcus’ mom dies in an accident, teenage angst, grief, a D’Angelo song and an awkward car sex moment somehow drives Marcus and Sasha apart. It should be noted that Marcus was wearing a t-shirt from the iconic record store Amoeba Music when he lost his virginity in the car.

More than a decade after Sasha took her love of food to New York City, she was coming back to San Francisco to open a restaurant, when in a classic rom-com fashion, her best friend Vanessa (played by comedian Michelle Buteau) helped Sasha reunite with Marcus by hiring him and his dad to set up the A/C system in Sasha’s new rental.

Sparks didn’t immediately fly when they met again. They must work through their own insecurities and issues like adults do.

Park says a character like Marcus, a young Asian American, a musician, a loyal son who smokes weed in his room and invites his dad (portrayed by James Saito) to dance with him, exists all over the city.

The film “subtlety subverts” the norm, as Khan says, by portraying these characters just as regular people. It’s things some people may not think about, such as Marcus’ dad having an American accent. It’s eating chicken feet in a dim sum restaurant with mean Chinese waiters. It’s Marcus’ dad dating a Diana Ross impersonator.

Park said that they weren’t thinking about the cultural impact that the film could have. “Always Be My Maybe” wouldn’t be a good film if Wong and Park weren’t just being themselves.

“[Wong and Park] aren’t trying to chase any version of who they feel like they should be. I think people respond to that honesty and that like Ali is just being Ali Randall’s being Randall,” Khan said.

What’s next for Asian Americans in Hollywood? Going forward, Wong says she would like to see an Asian American horror film.

“Always Be My Maybe” is out on Netflix on Friday.

Robert Handa contributed to this report.


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SeaWorld San Diego Hopes ‘Tidal Twister’ Will Increase Park Attendance

SeaWorld San Diego Hopes 'Tidal Twister' Will Increase Park Attendance

One of San Diego’s biggest tourist destinations has debuted its latest attraction — a winding, high-speed roller coaster that is meant to simulate ocean tides. 

SeaWorld San Diego’s Tidal Twister opened to the public on Friday with two dueling tracks that twist, turns and dips to give guests the feeling that they are riding an ocean tide.

Guests will ride one of two 16-person coasters that travel along separate figure-eight tracks at 30 mile-per-hour speeds. At the center of each track, guests will experience a zero-gravity roll, according to the theme park.

SeaWorld hopes the Tidal Twister will help raise their attendance numbers, which have already gone up 3.6 percent for the first quarter of 2019 when compared to last year, according to SeaWorld’s investor report

SeaWorld has been trying to recover from the 2013 “Blackfish” documentary that suggested the treatment of captive orcas provokes violent behavior. The release dropped the park’s attendance number’s significantly. 

In 2017, SeaWorld ended their use of killer whales as performers in their entertainment shows and found a new way to showcase their orcas through an encouter-style program.

The park’s attendance went up 20 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to the latest Theme Index report. SeaWorld’s last rollercoaster, the Electric Eel, was debuted during that time. 

The attendance increase was higher than any other theme park in the United States, though SeaWorld San Diego’s attendance was still far behind other theme parks across the country, the study noted.  


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Inspiring San Diego: Holocaust Survivor Finds Life Purpose Fulfilling a Family Promise

Inspiring San Diego: Holocaust Survivor Finds Life Purpose Fulfilling a Family Promise

“You cannot explain how horrible it was. Really unbelievable. You can call it hell. I think it was worse than hell.” – Rose Schindler.

At 89 years old Rose Schindler is a petite woman with an incredibly strong spirit. She has re-lived the awful memories of being a teenage prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau countless times.

“It’s not getting harder but it’s getting more emotional. I somehow can’t stop having tears in my eyes when I talk about the Holocaust,” Schindler said.

She can recall the horrific childhood experiences in the Nazi death camp in incredible detail.

“I can place myself in Auschwitz right now and tell you exactly what it looks like, how many barracks there are and how many dead people. There were people walking around like zombies. They don’t know if they’re coming or going,” she said.

Rose tells her story weekly to school groups, businesses, community organizations and others. The reason she accepts nearly every invitation to share her story is because of a promise she made to her father when they were prisoners in Auschwitz.

“He said whatever you do, stay together because you have a much better chance of surviving. And then he said stay alive so you can tell the world what they’re doing to us,” Schindler said.

Rose grew up in Czechoslovakian village, one of eight children in a devout Orthodox Jewish family. Her father was a tailor, and their family lived in a modest three-bedroom house on lots of land and grew their own food. She remembers when she and her family began being persecuted for their faith, and when she and other Jewish children in her village were no longer allowed to go to school.

“All of a sudden all of our non-Jewish friends that we went to school with started calling us ‘dirty Jew,’ throwing rocks at us. Things were pretty bad,” she explained.

Rose’s father hid his pocket watch in a can of shoe polish before they were driven away from their home. Rose still wears the pocket watch chain around her neck every day as a reminder of the promise of survival.

“He’s with me all the time,” she said. “I think that’s how I keep alive.”

There are other reminders of her past that never go away like the tattoo on the inside of her left forearm that reads “A-2-5-8-9-3.”

She shares that permanent mark when she speaks. Her words bring groups young and old to tears as she continues to inspire students, teachers and her family with her story of strength and perseverance.

Schindler’s daughter, Roxanne Schindler Katz, called her an inspiration.

“She’s making a huge difference in the world and she touches so many hearts and hopefully every heart that she touches, every child that learns her story, every adult that hears her story will take it to their heart. And hopefully we can reduce the hate in this world one person at a time,” Katz said.

Schindler remembers the day she and her family were told to pack up and leave their home. She never could have imagined the atrocities ahead. Watch as Schindler described the potentially life-saving advice she was given by a soldier when she arrived at the infamous Nazi extermination camp.

The Schindler family of 10 was packed inside a windowless train car and shipped like cargo to Auschwitz where the family was then separated. Schindler believes her mother and three younger siblings were murdered in the gas chamber almost immediately after they arrived at the concentration camp. She can still recall the screams they heard coming from the incinerators.

“They didn’t even give the people enough gas to kill them all the way. They burned them like half of it were still alive,” Schindler said. Watch as Schindler describes the moment her father spotted her inside Auschwitz after the family had been separated.

Schindler and her two older sisters spent months in the notorious death camp before they were finally selected for slave labor at a factory. Schindler was at the factory when she and others were liberated.

“I felt like I was a reborn person,” she said.

Schindler described in detail the feeling that came over her when Russian soldiers emerged from a corn field and drove the Nazis away from the factory.

Schindler met her husband, Max, also a Holocaust survivor, at a rehabilitation camp for minors in England after the war. The couple married and immigrated to America and eventually built a life in San Diego.

“So we have four kids. We have nine grandkids and one great grandchild,” she said.

Schindler’s husband passed away two years ago, but Schindler said she will keep telling their story as long as she’s able. And a soon-to-be released book featuring Schindler titled “Two Who Survived” will tell her and her late-husband’s story of survival long after she’s gone.

Though it’s been more than 70 years since the horrors of the holocaust and the murder of seven of her family members, including Rose’s father, his last words to her still drive her to share her family’s painful story. Every time there is an attack against faith and humanity, such as a the recent shooting at Chabad of Poway, Schindler’s resolve is strengthened.

“I know I promised my father that I’ll stay around to tell the world what is going on. And I just did not give up,” she said. “You have to have hope to survive the conditions we were in. You really have to believe in God and have hope.”

Watch as Schindler shares some of the life lessons she’s learned and her thoughts on why not all survivors are able to share the trauma of the Holocaust.


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