DOG WALKER SHOT WITH STUN GUN SUES PARK SERVICE: MONTARA (AP) — A California man is suing the National Park Service and a park ranger who allegedly shot him with a stun gun for being uncooperative about his off-leash dog.
In a federal lawsuit filed Thursday, 51-year-old Gary Hesterberg of Montara claims his constitutional rights were violated and seeks $500,000 in damages for the Jan. 29, 2012 incident.
The complaint says Hesterberg was running on a trail in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area when the ranger warned him about having one of his dogs off-leash.
The suit says the woman hadn't identified herself as a park ranger when she fired her Taser stun gun at his back as he tried to leave.
Park Service spokesman Howard Levitt said Friday the agency can't comment the lawsuit. The ranger was cleared of wrongdoing.
PACIFIC FISHER GETS TEMPORARY LEGAL PROTECTIONS: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A judge says a rare, forest-dwelling carnivore related to the wolverine should have California endangered species protections while regulators decide the creature's long-term legal status.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn issued the order earlier this month, giving endangered species protections to the Pacific fisher while the California Fish and Game Commission decides whether to list it under the California Endangered Species Act.
The fisher once thrived on the Pacific coast, but trapping, logging and other issues pushed the creature near extinction in Washington and Oregon. Two small populations remain in California.
The Center for Biological Diversity sued after the state previously declined to list the fisher.
Judge Kahn previously ordered the state to reconsider that denial; his latest order gives the fisher protection during that review.
REPORT SAYS NO MOTIVE FOR CHP OFFICER KILLING: WALNUT CREEK (AP) — Authorities say they will never know what drove a man to fatally shoot a California Highway Patrol officer during a freeway traffic stop.
An investigation by the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office revealed Thursday that there was no motive or indication 36-year-old Christopher Lacy was going to shoot officer Kenyon Youngstrom after he was pulled over on Interstate 680 in Alamo in September.
However, investigators later discovered that Lacy had suffered a mental breakdown while attending college and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
They also learned that Lacy's behavior had become increasingly erratic in recent years and the handgun he used in the shooting was purchased legally and registered to him.
Lacy shot the 37-year-old Youngstrom who died in a hospital the next day after being taken off life support. Lacy was killed by Youngstrom's partner, CHP officer Tyler Carlton.
COACH FACING MOLESTATION CHARGES TURNS HIMSELF IN
MARTINEZ AP) — Authorities say a longtime Northern California high school baseball coach charged with child molestation has turned himself in.
The Contra Costa Times reports that Joel Kaufman is in custody after a $300,000 warrant had been issued for his arrest.
County prosecutors say the 52-year-old Kaufman is expected to post bail Friday afternoon and will be arraigned at a later date.
Kaufman was charged Wednesday with multiple misdemeanors and felonies, including lewd and lascivious acts on a child younger than 14. He is accused of molesting one teen boy and secretly filming another in a bathroom.
Authorities have not released how Kaufman knew the alleged victims. They say the crimes occurred between 2005 and last year.
Kaufman is the coach of a San Jose-based travelling high school-aged baseball club and previously coached at Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School, where he led the team to five league titles