Child endangerment charges dropped
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is no longer pursuing child endangerment charges against two 18-year-old males arrested in connection with the March 16 arson fire on Fordham Way in Mountain View.
Deputy District Attorney Sumerle Davis told the Town Crier last week that she’s no longer moving forward with charges against Brandon Pak and Gilbert Gomes after reviewing the “information provided at the time.”
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Brian Welch, however, added that all other charges against the pair “remain under review.” Pak and Gomes were also arrested on one count each of burglary, and Pak was charged at the time with providing marijuana to juveniles.
Welch’s comments came after some media outlets reported last week that all charges against the pair were being dropped.
“We’re continuing to look at their involvement (in the incident),” Welch said.
Pak and Gomes were among 14 individuals from Mountain View and Los Altos – including 12 juveniles – arrested several days after an arson fire destroyed a single-family home on the 1700 block of Fordham Way.
According to Mountain View Police, the group began using the residence in early March to host multiple parties that included “heavy drug and alcohol use” while the homeowners were out of town. Police and fire investigators believe that three minors started a fire inside the home but were unable to extinguish it. A 2003 Audi A4 was stolen from the residence and has since been recovered.
The development came as Mountain View Police confirmed that four additional suspects, all juveniles, were arrested in connection with the case.
Fatal DUI warrant arrest
Police arrested 33-year-old Miroslav Samardzija at his Mountain View home Thursday without incident on a warrant related to his March 27 fatal DUI crash.
Tai-Jin Lee, 27, a passenger in Samardzija’s 2005 Corvette, died at the scene of the crash at Fremont Avenue and Marymeade Lane in Los Altos. Samardzija was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries.
Police charged Samardzija with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence and causing bodily injury, and reckless driving.
April 8, 8:03 a.m., 200 block of North Avalon Drive: An unknown suspect stole electronics and a purse from the kitchen of a home while its residents were sleeping.
April 10, 3:27 p.m., 2000 block of Deodara Drive: An unknown suspect stole electronics and jewels after gaining entry to the home by kicking open a door. Police believe that the burglary occurred during the daytime.
– Diego Abeloos