The Chula Vista Police Department hosted a March 13 meeting at Hilltop Middle School. They presented crime information about the city to approximately 200 community members, including parents, teenagers, and young children.
Police chief David Bejarano and law-enforcement officers provided safety tips to make oneself less of a target for violent attacks. The meeting's objective was to help people feel safe in the wake of recent crimes against females.
In the South County, a female jogger was attacked on March 3 in McCandliss Park. Lieutenant Phil Collum called the crime an “anomaly.” Two men repeatedly punched and kicked the victim in the head and stomach before running off. She is now recovering but the attackers remain at large.
A similar crime is unlikely to occur again, according to Collum. McCandliss Park is located one mile east of where the meeting took place, an area of Chula Vista that sees little crime, according to police statistics. Most of Chula Vista's crime occurs in the urban area of the city, west of the I-805. Collum said Chula Vista, the second-largest city in the county, is safe and has seen an 11 percent decrease in violent crime, compared to last year.
Detective Glen Isaaks assured community members that his division keeps track of the city's 230 registered sex offenders, regularly accounting for each one at their places of residence. There is only one sex offender unaccounted for at this time, said Isaaks. He believed he knew the person’s whereabouts and a warrant had been issued for their arrest.
The CVPD advised vigilance and offered tips such as traveling in twos, carrying pepper spray, and providing whistles for children. They encouraged people to get to know their neighbors, observe their surroundings, and report any unknown persons roaming or lingering in the area.