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Homeless walking on 78 freeway

Escondido police use search warrants to see guns in tents

Blomberg says he still sees people walking and cycling across the 78.
Blomberg says he still sees people walking and cycling across the 78.

Since the Escondido Police Department found guns and ammo in a pitched tent adjacent to SR-78 last month, North County residents say they are witnessing fewer pedestrians crossing the 78 close to where it merges into the I-15 freeway.

Locals took to the Escondido Police Scanners Facebook page to speak on the “problem area.” “My husband almost hit a guy crossing the 78 because he came out of nowhere and it was so dark,” commented one of the 4,200 Facebook members two weeks ago.

“My husband almost hit a guy crossing the 78 because he came out of nowhere and it was so dark.”

Another member, Anayeli Ruiz, a 30-year-old healthcare worker, recently posted a video clip on the scanner-monitoring Facebook group of her driving northbound on Metcalf Street underneath the 78. On the eight-second clip, Escondido Police Department vehicles and Cal-Trans personnel are seen on the right side of the video frame. “There’s a homeless encampment there,” Ruiz said to me on December 19, “so they do tend to cross the freeway. They (police and Cal-Trans personnel) come every Monday at 7 am and only give them an hour to clear out.”

Gregory Blomberg, a hairstylist who lives close to the area, noticed homeless encampments on the north side of the 78 freeway by Metcalf recently. “It seems to have slowed/stopped the pedestrians …. since the arrest,” he said to me on December 19.

Anayeli Ruiz posted a video clip on the scanner-monitoring Facebook group of her driving northbound on Metcalf Street underneath the 78.

On November 22, an anonymous resident reportedly called the Escondido Police Department about someone who had a firearm and was selling drugs in the ‘Major Road’ vicinity. “The subject was reported to be living in a tent on California Transportation (Cal Trans) property on the side of Highway 78 in the area of the 800 block of Metcalf Street in Escondido,” says the police report via the Nixle site. “Officers contacted two people in the tent and saw a weapon in plain view. Detective Chris Naranjo obtained a search warrant for the tent.”

“I’m guessing in ‘Commiefornia,’ a tent is considered a house,” opined Blomberg on the EPS Facebook page, which he moderates. “I know when camping your tent is considered your temporary housing, and a legal gun owner can have a firearm in the tent.” A local corroborated, “I think it gets classified as a domicile because that’s where they’re living, which would require a warrant for search and seizure ….”

After Detective Naranjo retrieved the search warrant for the tent, he “seized two handguns, ammunition, Hydrocodone pills, fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, and ecstasy pills,” according to the police report. “Police arrested Teron Armstrong, a 37-year-old from Escondido, for possession of narcotics for sale, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, possession of a controlled substance for sale, and felon/addict in possession of a firearm. Randy Peltier, a 34-year-old also from Escondido, was arrested for felon/addict in possession of a firearm.”

Blomberg says he still sees people walking and cycling across the 55-mph freeway (78 is technically a highway but has multiple lanes west of Escondido). “There are no bicycle lanes there,” he added.

Mainstream news reported that at about 9 pm on August 21, a motorist driving a white Volvo eastbound on SR-78 passed over Metcalf Street, underneath Rock Springs Road, then struck and killed Jerry Torres on his bike before the Center City Parkway exit.

“A witness told the CHP the bicyclist (Torres) was trying to cross from the center divider to the right shoulder,” reported Fox 5 TV News.

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Blomberg says he still sees people walking and cycling across the 78.
Blomberg says he still sees people walking and cycling across the 78.

Since the Escondido Police Department found guns and ammo in a pitched tent adjacent to SR-78 last month, North County residents say they are witnessing fewer pedestrians crossing the 78 close to where it merges into the I-15 freeway.

Locals took to the Escondido Police Scanners Facebook page to speak on the “problem area.” “My husband almost hit a guy crossing the 78 because he came out of nowhere and it was so dark,” commented one of the 4,200 Facebook members two weeks ago.

“My husband almost hit a guy crossing the 78 because he came out of nowhere and it was so dark.”

Another member, Anayeli Ruiz, a 30-year-old healthcare worker, recently posted a video clip on the scanner-monitoring Facebook group of her driving northbound on Metcalf Street underneath the 78. On the eight-second clip, Escondido Police Department vehicles and Cal-Trans personnel are seen on the right side of the video frame. “There’s a homeless encampment there,” Ruiz said to me on December 19, “so they do tend to cross the freeway. They (police and Cal-Trans personnel) come every Monday at 7 am and only give them an hour to clear out.”

Gregory Blomberg, a hairstylist who lives close to the area, noticed homeless encampments on the north side of the 78 freeway by Metcalf recently. “It seems to have slowed/stopped the pedestrians …. since the arrest,” he said to me on December 19.

Anayeli Ruiz posted a video clip on the scanner-monitoring Facebook group of her driving northbound on Metcalf Street underneath the 78.

On November 22, an anonymous resident reportedly called the Escondido Police Department about someone who had a firearm and was selling drugs in the ‘Major Road’ vicinity. “The subject was reported to be living in a tent on California Transportation (Cal Trans) property on the side of Highway 78 in the area of the 800 block of Metcalf Street in Escondido,” says the police report via the Nixle site. “Officers contacted two people in the tent and saw a weapon in plain view. Detective Chris Naranjo obtained a search warrant for the tent.”

“I’m guessing in ‘Commiefornia,’ a tent is considered a house,” opined Blomberg on the EPS Facebook page, which he moderates. “I know when camping your tent is considered your temporary housing, and a legal gun owner can have a firearm in the tent.” A local corroborated, “I think it gets classified as a domicile because that’s where they’re living, which would require a warrant for search and seizure ….”

After Detective Naranjo retrieved the search warrant for the tent, he “seized two handguns, ammunition, Hydrocodone pills, fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, and ecstasy pills,” according to the police report. “Police arrested Teron Armstrong, a 37-year-old from Escondido, for possession of narcotics for sale, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, possession of a controlled substance for sale, and felon/addict in possession of a firearm. Randy Peltier, a 34-year-old also from Escondido, was arrested for felon/addict in possession of a firearm.”

Blomberg says he still sees people walking and cycling across the 55-mph freeway (78 is technically a highway but has multiple lanes west of Escondido). “There are no bicycle lanes there,” he added.

Mainstream news reported that at about 9 pm on August 21, a motorist driving a white Volvo eastbound on SR-78 passed over Metcalf Street, underneath Rock Springs Road, then struck and killed Jerry Torres on his bike before the Center City Parkway exit.

“A witness told the CHP the bicyclist (Torres) was trying to cross from the center divider to the right shoulder,” reported Fox 5 TV News.

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