Gang member charged in 2010 bus stop killing

A Richmond gang member has been charged with murder in the shooting of a 16-year-old boy at an AC Transit bus stop in Richmond in 2010, a prosecutor said Friday.

Akeem Rouse had just finished a new student orientation at Gompers High School and was waiting for a ride from his mother at a bus stop on West Macdonald Avenue at First Street on Aug. 18, 2010, when a gunman shot him several times.

Darious Lewis, 21, was identified as a suspect before being linked to the crime by DNA recovered from the gun suspected to have killed Rouse, as well as clothing dumped in the area, prosecutor Mary Knox said.

While no motive has been determined, investigators believe Lewis killed for the benefit of his Richmond street gang.

Witnesses described Lewis high-fiving another gang member after the shooting, Knox said.

Lewis was 17 at the time of the shooting but is being prosecuted as an adult. He was arrested in Solano County on Dec. 26 and is in jail in lieu of $2.5 million bail.

-- Malaika Fraley, Staff


Saturday will be fifth 'no burn' day in a row

The streak of Bay Area no-burn days will continue through Saturday with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's announcement of another Spare the Air alert.

The alert -- the fifth straight issued by the district and the 27th since the winter season began Nov. 1 -- bans the burning of wood, manufactured fire logs and other solid fuels inside or outside for 24 hours, with the exception of homes in which wood-burning is the sole source of heat.

First-time violators may be fined up to $100 or given the option of taking a wood smoke education class. Subsequent violations will result in fines of $500 or more.

Elevated pollution levels and especially unhealthy concentrations of particulates in the South Bay provoked the latest string of alerts, according to the district, although a weak low-pressure system is expected to produce strong winds and some air quality improvements across part of the Bay Area on Saturday.

-- Jeremy Thomas, Staff

San Pablo

Nemeth named to lead transportation panel

John Nemeth has been selected as the new executive director of the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee, a multijurisdictional transportation planning agency.

Represented on the committee are the cities of El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo, as well as Contra Costa County, BART, AC Transit and WestCAT.

Nemeth has more than 15 years of transportation planning and project development experience, the past eight as planning manager for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District.

His transportation and urban planning background also includes working for BART, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and SamTrans.

Nemeth, a longtime East Bay resident, starts his new job Jan. 21. He replaces Christina Atienza, executive director since 2008.

The agency, which works closely with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, is responsible for prioritizing and managing West Contra Costa transportation projects and programs funded through Measure J, a half-cent sales tax reapproved by voters in 2004.

Its priorities include promoting alternative commuting options, mobility for seniors and accessibility for the disabled.

-- Chris Treadway, Staff


Blaze at old firehouse was arson, official says

A blaze that caused $10,000 in damage to an old fire station Thursday night was arson, a Fire Department official said.

Inspector George Laing with the Contra Costa Fire District said the investigation is ongoing but that evidence at the scene confirmed that someone intentionally set the blaze.

The building on Deerfield Drive is owned by the city of Antioch. It was used for training purposes until three or four years ago, Laing said, and has since been sitting idle.

The vacant building has attracted some trouble; as recently as a month ago, copper wire was stolen from inside its walls, Laing said.

While the flames were contained to one room, fire crews said smoke spread through much of the building.

Neighbors were able to provide descriptions of possible suspects to investigators, but that information is not being released yet, Laing said.

The fire was reported about 8:20 p.m. Thursday. Crews were able to knock it down by 8:50 p.m.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff


Public's help sought in locating missing teen

Police are asking for the public's help in finding a missing at-risk teen who was last seen early Friday.

Samuel Brysk, 16, is described as a white male, 6 feet tall and about 145 pounds. He was last seen near Chardonnay Drive in Pleasanton about 5:30 a.m.

He is considered at-risk due to a medical condition, but police did not specify the condition.

Police said Brysk is most likely wearing a purple, hooded sweatshirt, dark sweatpants and running shoes with zip ties in place of shoelaces.

Anyone with information on Brysk's disappearance is asked to call 911 or 925-931-5100.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff


Man flees during robbery attempt

A man was not out to satisfy his sweet tooth Friday when he attempted to rob a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store, police said.

About 12:05 p.m., the unidentified man walked into the business at 4001 Santa Rita Road and handed one of the employees a demand note.

The employee, however, refused the man's demand, and the suspect fled, police said.

The suspect is described as a white male in his mid-30s with a stubble beard, about 6 feet tall and between 200 and 220 pounds.

He was last seen wearing a gray beanie, a short, dark gray pea coat, blue acid-wash jeans and gray sunglasses with oval frames.

-- Katie Nelson, Staff


98-year-old is victim of home robbery

Two robbers kicked in a door to a 98-year-old woman's house in East Oakland, holding her captive for two hours before fleeing with a television and cash after unsuccessfully trying to pull her rings off her fingers, investigators said Friday.

The robbers kicked in a door to the woman's house on Eighth Avenue, near East 24th Street, about 11:30 a.m. Thursday while she was home alone.

They confronted the woman and at first tried to pull off her rings, police said.

When that failed, the robbers stole cash and a necklace she was wearing, police said.

The woman suffered cuts and bruises to her hands but refused medical treatment, authorities said.

-- Harry Harris, Staff


Contra Costa College sets spring sign-ups

Spring semester open registration for new and returning students at Contra Costa College begins Monday, with class instruction starting Jan. 13.

Course schedules and detailed information are available at The college is at 2600 Mission Bell Drive.

For additional information, contact Michele Jackson at 510-215-3836 or

-- Chris Treadway, Staff