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Security incidents in March included a confrontation that required the use of pepper spray, a late-night gathering on Latrobe Road adjacent to Rancho Murieta that brought out law enforcement personnel and a police helicopter, and several residential burglaries with no sign of forced entry. The incidents appear in the Rancho Murieta Community Services District security logs, and Security Chief Greg Remson provided additional information at the CSD Security Committee meeting last week.

Burglaries on Puerto and Venado drives

A burglary that occurred at a home on Puerto Drive was reported to Security last week. Remson told the committee the homeowners last saw the items about three months ago. He said there was no sign of forced entry.

Jewelry, china and an ivory statue were reported taken from a home on Venado Drive March 8. According to the security logs, there was no forced entry or ransacking involved, and possible suspect information was provided. The Sheriff's Department responded for a report.

According to a security log entry for March 21, drawers were left open and a jewelry box was taken at a home on Puerto Drive where there was no sign of forced entry.

Officer uses pepper spray at North Gate

Remson provided the details of the pepper spray incident that occurred late  March 17 at the North Gate.

The gate officer heard a car door slam and noted that a car was parked in the Highway 16 turn lane and a man was walking in using the outbound lane of Murieta Parkway.

Remson said the gate officer left the gate office to approach the man because he required authorization to enter the community.

When she contacted him, "she feels the guy's under the influence," Remson said. "He's immediately mouthy towards her. She calls for the patrol officers. During this time, another guy showed up and (the two men) got into an argument. The big guy, who they describe as about 6'6", hit the other guy on the side of the head. Our guys got there, tried to separate them. The aggressor wouldn't comply. ... The shorter guy went to take refuge behind one of our officers ... and you can see part of it on the gate camera. The guy kept coming towards him and the officer had pulled out his pepper spray and said, 'Stop, stay back.  Stay back, I'm going to pepper spray you.' And he didn't. He kept advancing on him."

After the pepper spray was deployed, "this guy calmed down ... and then we figured out who's who," Remson said.

The two combatants turned out to be brothers who had been traveling home to Rancho Murieta with their father.  The brothers were fighting in the car "and that's why the dad had enough and he parked it right there in the intersection, and he was walking home," Remson said.

The father was located and brought to the gate. He moved the car out of the intersection.

Remson said the incident concluded after patrol officers asked the pepper spray victim if he wanted medics from Station 59 to examine him "and he said 'no, no, no,' asked the younger brother if he wanted prosecution for his brother hitting him ... 'no, no, no' -- and Dad says, 'Let me just take them home.'"

Seven arrested on Latrobe Road

On March 29, security patrol officers "observed numerous vehicles and heard several gunshots" on Latrobe Road, according to a security log entry.

The Sheriff's Department responded, and by 2 a.m., the situation had escalated to a response by numerous law enforcement agencies and a police helicopter, and the Sheriff's Department asked Security patrol officers to handle traffic control.

According to the Sacramento Sheriff's Department watch summary for March 30, deputies responding to a report of gunshots being fired on a public roadway found 35 to 40 people drinking.

After a 19-year-old male verbally abused deputies and refused commands to step back, deputies attempted to detain him. A deputy was injured during the ensuing struggle, according to the report, and a 20-year-old male "began stirring up the crowd and refused to comply with commands to calm down." Deputies and officers from other agencies arrived and dispersed the crowd. The two men were arrested, and five others were arrested for public intoxication.

Latrobe Road, located between Rancho Murieta and Deer Creek Hills, part of the Sacramento Valley Conservancy, is a longstanding problem area.

Last year, when Aimee Rutledge, executive director of the Sacramento Valley Conservancy, appeared in Rancho Murieta to discuss the promise of the 4,000-acre Deer Creek Hills preserve, she also talked about continuing problems with gunfire and bonfires on Latrobe Road.

Rutledge said the conservancy has posted signs to deal with the problems and holds an annual law enforcement open house to foster cooperation. Remson said Security takes part in the coordinated effort.

Rutledge recommended that anyone in Rancho Murieta who hears gunshots coming from Latrobe call the non-emergency sheriff's number, 874-5115. Security can be reached at 354-2273 (CARE).

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