OAKLAND

Man found dead near railroad tracks

Police are investigating the death of a man found alongside railroad tracks Monday afternoon in East Oakland.

Police believe the man was hit by a train that did not stop, possibly because operators were not aware they had struck someone.

Police were trying to identify the man and contact relatives.

He was found about 1:40 p.m. near East 12th Street and 22nd Avenue. He had multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police were trying to determine why the man was in the path of the train.

-- Harry Harris, Staff

ALBANY

Police: Teen fabricated attempted kidnapping

A 15-year-old boy who told police he was almost kidnapped while walking near a student housing complex on the University of California campus Friday night has admitted that he made up the story.

The teenager told police that he had been walking with the help of crutches on Jackson Street, near Eighth Street, where the University Village, Albany housing is located, about 11 p.m. Friday when a man in a black SUV approached him and tried to coax him into the car. The boy told police he used his crutches to help fight off the man and escape.


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Investigators interviewed the teen over the weekend, and Monday morning he recanted his entire story, UC police Lt. Eric Tejada said. Investigators determined before the boy's admission that all aspects of the incident were fabricated, including the boy's description of the car and the suspect.

Police have not determined why the teen made up the story.

It was not known yet whether the teen would face charges for filing the false report.

-- Rick Hurd, Staff

OAKLAND

Eight people displaced in two-alarm fire

At least eight residents were displaced early Monday after a two-alarm fire damaged two West Oakland apartment buildings, officials said.

No injuries were reported.

The fire erupted about 2 a.m. Monday in a bedroom of a first-floor unit of a three-story apartment building in the 1200 block of 34th Street.

Batallion fire Chief Adrian Sheppard said the flames spread to a car parked in a carport outside the building, which ignited a fire that spread to an adjacent two-story fourplex.

All residents of the two buildings were able to get out on their own. It took 28 firefighters until 2:40 a.m. to control the fires, officials said

Officials said the cause of the initial fire has not been determined, but electrical and gas problems have been ruled out.

Officials said each building sustained at least $100,000 in damages.

-- Harry Harris, Staff

OAKLAND

Tall ships to sail into Jack London Square

The tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will be sailing into the Bay Area and docking at Jack London Square this month as part of their winter tour of California ports.

Dressed in period costumes, the crew will greet visitors and talk about their educational mission.

The ships will be open for walk-on tours and sails. The tours are 4 to 5 p.m. Feb. 21 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 22-23. A $3 donation is requested.

There will be a Battle Sail 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 22-23 (tickets are $43 to $63) and an Adventure Sail 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 23 ($43).

To purchase tickets, call 800-200-5239 or go to www.historicalseaport.org. Jack London Square is at the foot of Broadway in downtown Oakland.

-- Cathie Gatison, Staff

NEWARK

Missing dog returned; transient arrested

A missing dog was back with her owners, and a suspected dog thief was behind bars Monday thanks to a neighbor with a keen eye, police said.

The chain of events began about 8:30 p.m. Friday when a Newark man spotted a transient in his neighborhood walking what he described as a "beautiful (Siberian) husky," Cmdr. Mike Carroll said.

The man told police he suspected something was wrong because he had never seen the transient, a homeless person known to frequent the area, with "such a nice dog."

Police learned that earlier that day a 6-year-old husky named Chloe had escaped her yard on Orleans Drive and that her owners had dialed 911 and asked a dispatcher to have police call them if their dog turned up.

Officer Matt Warren soon located the transient -- identified as 57-year-old Robert Maldonado -- on Blackwood Drive and arrested him on suspicion of theft after learning he had tried to sell the dog.

He was also arrested for outstanding warrants for threatening an officer, being intoxicated in public, attempting to steal a vehicle and driving under the influence in connection with two separate incidents that took place in Newark and Fremont.

Maldonado was booked at Santa Rita Jail, where Monday he remained on $25,000 bail. The dog has been returned to her owners.

-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff

WEST County

Committee approves transit options study

A study of high-capacity transit options, including a possible northward BART extension along the Interstate 80 corridor, has won the endorsement of the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee, according to a news release from BART District 7 Director Zakhary Mallett.

The next step is for the committee's staff to work with transit agency staffs to define the scope and seek funding for a study, which would look not only at a possible BART extension but also enhanced express bus service and other rail options.

Those options include light rail and diesel multiple-unit trains like those that will be used on eBART in eastern Contra Costa.

Once a scope is established and funding secured, the issue would go back before the advisory committee for approval.

-- Tom Lochner, Staff