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Stockton police response to chalk graffiti prompts questions

STOCKTON, CA - For a second time, adult protestors wrote in chalk all over the Stockton City Hall sidewalk. For a second time, city hall called police. This time, three officers showed up: a lieutenant, a sergeant, and an officer.

"They came out to educate the Occupy protestors on the municipal codes and the laws they may be violating, and we're letting them know we are taking a zero tolerance approach," said Stockton Police Department spokesman Officer Joe Silva.

City hall spokeswoman Connie Cochran said the Occupy Stockton chalk protestors were "blocking the free and clear access to city hall" for people who were there to conduct business. Chalk graffiti is a misdemeanor.

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Stockton police investigating 40th homicide of year

STOCKTON, CA - Stockton police officers were called to the 700 block of E. Hammer Lane early Wednesday morning in response to a shooting.

According to Stockton police spokesman Joe Silva, officers arrived at the scene around 3:48 a.m. and found a 27-year-old man suffering from at least one gunshot wound.

The man was transported to an area hospital where he later died of his injuries.

The fatal shooting marks Stockton's 40th homicide of 2012.

No information on possible suspects or motives was released.

Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to contact the Stockton Police Department.

Bystanders rescue boy after he fell into Stockton pool

STOCKTON, CA - A 3-year-old boy was rescued by bystanders after nearly drowning in a west Stockton public pool.

The boy and his parents were at a community pool at the Brookside neighborhood Tuesday afternoon when the boy wandered away from his parents, Stockton Fire Battalion Chief Lane Healy said.

A teenager saw the 3-year-old in the pool and pulled him out. Healy said a nursing student began CPR on the toddler.

When the fire department arrived, the boy had a pulse, but was not really coherent. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Healy said the boy is doing well.

Stockton to reduce, cut retiree health premiums

STOCKTON, CA - A bankruptcy judge refused to grant an injunction against the City of Stockton, which was aimed to stop the city from reducing and then eliminating fully-paid medical premiums.

The Association of Retired Employees of the City of Stockton, ARECOS, wanted a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the city so: the court could to order it to continue to pay medical premiums; or allow ARECOS to file a lawsuit against the city in another court.

The judge said he lacks jurisdiction to tell the city on spend its money while in bankruptcy.

"The decision confirms the City's position that while the bankruptcy court has exclusive jurisdiction over the restructuring of the City's debt, it cannot direct how the City uses its property and resources, including spending its money, while the bankruptcy case is pending," City spokesperson Connie Cochran said in a news release.

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Pregnant victim in well remains a mystery

STOCKTON, CA - It was a late night more than two decades ago when convicted killer Wes Shermantine picked up a very pregnant prostitute off of Wilson Way.

This is the story bounty hunter Leonard Padilla said was told to him by Shermantine in March. Padilla said the story didn't end well for the woman.

Shermantine allegedly drove her out to Linden to a well on Flood Road. His friend Loren Herzog and another man were waiting.

"They took her and Loren tied one hand to barbed wire, the other man held on to her other hand," said Padilla, retelling the gruesome details Shermantine told him over the phone from San Quinton's death row.

"And Loren and this other individual were cutting on her, cutting on her belly. He said she was screaming. She was wailing and hollering."

Shermantine said he witnessed the savage attack on the woman, before going to his truck to get his .357 firearm. 

Stockton violence puts residents at risk

STOCKTON, CA - With the city's murder count set to eclipse last year's record level, Stockton residents wonder how to stay safe in a rising tide of violent crime.

"It's bad in Stockton right now. Murders, unsolved murders..." His voice trails off, and as he stands in front of a television news camera, a young man asks that even his tattoos be left out of any images for fear he might be identified.

The young man who lives along Stockton's 3rd Street said his recent move from Gilroy to Stockton left him stunned at the level of crime he now sees almost routinely.

"A little homie down the street got blasted...the first killing of this year," he said, recalling a 16-year-old boy who was shot just one block to the west of his apartment in January.

"He got shot up badly. It went through his head, his chest and everything," he said.

Stockton police look for armed parolee


STOCKTON, CA - A parolee Stockton police say is armed and dangerous ran from officers Wednesday and remains at large.

Officer Joe Silva said a police officer and a parole officer went to a home on the 2000 block of Pyrenees at 11:45 a.m. to look for parolee Ronnie Lea, 39. As officers approached the residence, Lea and another parolee at large, Luther Hale, 38, ran out the back , Silva said.

The officers nabbed Hale and arrested him.

Lea got away but not before dumping a backpack containing one pound of methamphetamine, two pounds of cocaine, 100 Ecstacy pills and a gun, Silva said.

A photograph of Lea accompanies this story.

Anyone with information on Lea's whereabouts was urged to contact the Stockton Police Department at (209) 937-8377 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600. Callers can remain anonymous.