Murder suspect mistakenly released from custody
A murder suspect was mistakenly released from custody in Southern California Tuesday afternoon and remained at large, authorities said.
Steven Manzo, 23, was charged with fatally shooting a man in Long Beach in 2018. Manzo was arrested a year ago and had been incarcerated since then.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office informed Long Beach police that Manzo had been released from custody. Officers were unable to locate him.
“Upon further review, it was determined he should not have been released,” Long Beach police said in a statement Wednesday.
Court and jail records indicate his case was dismissed, though police say that’s not the case.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said deputies received an “order for release” from the court, indicating the case was dismissed, on Tuesday.
“As such the Department complied with the court order and processed the individual for release,” the department said in a statement.
Authorities referred questions to the district attorney’s office, which did not immediately have a comment Wednesday.
Storm brings needed rain but unleashes mudslide
A Pacific storm brought much-needed rain and snow to California on Wednesday at the tail-end of a largely dry winter, but it also unleashed a mudslide in a fire-scarred canyon.
Mud coursed down Orange County’s rustic Silverado Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains, filling the yards of homes and trapping some cars in hubcap-deep muck.
No injuries were reported, but with more rain expected the Orange County Sheriff’s Department ordered Silverado and two other canyons evacuated.
Winter storm warnings were in effect in the southern Cascades, down the length of the Sierra Nevada and the mountains of Southern California. Caltrans urged drivers to check for chain controls.
Conditions included showers, downpours, thunderstorms, hail and low-elevation snow.
For a time, the California Highway Patrol had to escort Interstate 5 traffic over Tejon Pass in the mountains north of Los Angeles.
To the east, heavy snow was reported on Interstate 15 in the high desert, Caltrans said.
In the Eastern Sierra, the Mammoth Mountain ski resort reported 13 inches to 15 inches (33-38.1 centimeters) of new snow, with more expected.
The Sierra snowpack is an important part of California’s water supply, but at the start of March its water content was about half the average normally recorded on April 1, when it is typically at its most robust.
Suspects identified in youth attack on man in Newport Beach
Youths suspected of being involved in an attack on a man on a Newport Beach street have been identified, authorities said.
The assault occurred Saturday night on Balboa Peninsula and was recorded on video that has been widely seen.
Officers responded to a report of a fight and found the man with serious injuries but the youths were gone.
The video showed a group surround the man in a crosswalk. A bystander came to his aid but someone kicked the man in the face and he fell to the ground, KTLA reported.
A police statement Tuesday said all parties were identified but no further information would be released because the incident involved juveniles.
University offers students $75 to avoid spring break travel
The University of California, Davis is offering students $75 to be used for “staycations” to encourage them to avoid nonessential travel during spring break.
Students who choose to stay home during the March 22-26 break will get the money in gift cards. Student response has been “awesome,” the university said in statement.
“The idea behind this was to provide a positive incentive for students to follow public health guidance,” Sheri Atkinson, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, told the Los Angeles Times.
About 50% of the student body is living either on campus or in the Davis area, she said.
To receive a gift card, students must apply by giving a basic description of their spring break plans. They must pledge to stay in town for their weeklong break and complete a COVID-19 test.
The university initially planned to give 750 such grants, but because of student interest, it upped the cap to 2,000. The anticipated $150,000 program will be paid through philanthropy and other university funds — not student fees or tuition, Atkinson said.
Colleges around the country are scaling back spring break or canceling it entirely to discourage partying that could spread the virus and raise infection rates back on campus.
Texas A&M University opted for a three-day weekend instead of a whole week off. The University of Alabama and the University of Wisconsin-Madison also did away with spring break but are giving students a day off later in the semester. University of Mississippi also canceled spring break but will end the semester a week early.