Law and Disorder

Attorneys for the City of Santa Barbara and the family of Katie Janewaywho drowned at Los Ba±os pool three years agoreached a $2 million settlement just as the case was to be tried. The Janeway family accused the City of Santa Barbara of negligence for failing to keep closer tabs on their developmentally disabled daughter. City attorneys last week vowed to argue that the girl’s parents shared blame in the death. The Janeways had reportedly sought $24 million to settle.

Jessica Gibsonformer nanny for the family of actor Rob Lowefiled a lawsuit on 4/14 against Lowe alleging that he inappropriately touched her during her employment, which she claims she continued because she needed the work. Lowe and his wife filed suit last week, claiming Gibson attempted to blackmail them for $1.5 million with the allegations, and that she used illegal drugs in front of their children. Gibson has hired the services of high-profile lawyer Gloria Allred.

Cynthia Clark, a former assistant superintendent with the Santa Maria-Bonita School District, and three others were indicted on charges of using district funds to buy art and cars and to enjoy big bonuses. Filed by the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury following a three-year investigation by the state, the indictments allege that Clark and three officials at TurnKey, a manufacturer of portable school rooms, charged the district for work never performed.

Santa Barbara resident Monica Bond, 57, and her daughter Heather Bond, 37, were arrested at an airport in Darjeeling, India, on 4/14 when authorities found 11 rounds of nine-millimeter ammunition in their luggage. Indian police are currently trying to determine if the ammunition was purchased in India, but according to family members, the ammunition was left there by mistake, and passed through security checks at four airports, including LAX.

Police responded to three claims of robbery at knifepoint on the evening of 4/13 between the Yanonali Street labor line and the downtown train depot. At the third, however, police suspected a man claiming to have been assaulted to actually be one of the three men committing the crimes. A search of the train depot yielded two other suspects, two stolen bikes, and a box cutter. All three men were arrested on charges of battery and robbery.

Two blazes book-ended the weekend and kept County Fire crews busy. On 4/11, firefighters extinguished a vehicular fire near the Nojoqui Park exit of Highway 101. And on 4/13, two County Fire engines raced to Santa Maria to help firefighters extinguish a burning 10,000-square-foot packaging warehouse, the smoke from which blackened North County skies. The second fire also resulted in power outages throughout Santa Maria.

Robert Caiza, a 29-year-old elementary school bicycle safety instructor, was hit by a car late on 4/11 on Miramonte Drive. The driver sped off. Caiza did not get a good look at the car. And because Caiza’s bicycle was stolen from the scene while he was being treated for a concussion and a splintered shoulder joint, there’s a shortage of evidence for police to work with in the matter.

All 160 Santa Barbara policesworn officers and reservistswill be getting new riot patrol helmets with funds from seized assets of convicted or suspected drug dealers. While not bullet-proof, the new helmets provide officers better protection from gunfire than their current helmets. Additionally, the department pledged to contribute another $20,000also levied from the asset forfeiture programto young teens.

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