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Wednesday, September 20th, 2000 @ 4:47 PM
Subj: Unsafe half-way houes in our neighborhood
From: (Jorge Lopez)

This is my first time here and I hope I can get some help in answering my 7-year-old daughter's Question. Why are houses like that on the way to an ice-cream store?

Jorge Luis Lopez
5834 Santa Teresa Blvd.
San Jose CA. 95123

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

To Whom It May Concern:

This evening the Lopez family (Diane, Rachel, Joshua, Tricia and Jorge) went for a walk to Sweet Retreat, an ice-cream store at the corner of Santa Teresa Blvd. and Cahalan Ave. As we waited at the North East corner waiting for the light to change a disturbed man came out of the Halve Way House an assaulted us verbally and threatened us with bodily harm. The police were called and an incident was recorded. # 002631195

Diane cannot stop talking about it, saying this is the scariest moment in her life, and she was afraid even to go to the bathroom by her self. We (Jorge and Tricia) spoke to her to comfort her. I gave her a shower to calm her and relax her so she could sleep better. Nevertheless I feel she may need to talk and get it out of her system. If there is anything the school therapist can do for her I would appreciate it and for her teachers to be aware of the incident. I also am going to schedule her with a private family therapist to talk to her.

One of Diane’s concerns was for other children walking to Sweet Retreat from her school and she asked if it would be OK to let her teacher know and her friends? I told Diane it would be OK for her to do so, and that she was very thoughtful for caring of others.

The incident happened like this, as we approached the corner of Cahalan Ave. and Santa Teresa Blvd. The children were in the process of giving me five Spanish words that we had learned in order for them to get an ice cream. As we paused at the corner a Deranged Man burst out of the corner house swearing and threatening us specially directing his threats at the children and not me. As he rushed at us I got between the kids and him. I could notice his right hand was pulled back as if he was hiding a weapon, at this point I shouted at the children to cross the street and I was about to stop the man from coming any closer as an other man came and grabbed him away and they struggled a bit, but the man managed to get him into the house. At this point I called the police and a report was taken. As we proceeded to get our ice cream the police said they would stay until we got our ice cream and headed home. There was a long line on this hot night at Sweet Retreat. After we had gotten our ice cream the police officer came and explained that there was nothing he could do, except take a report. As we were about to leave. The estranged man came out of the house and proceeded to walk in the middle of the street. The officer said “well I got him know” I can take him in”. But as the officer got into his car and approached the man the man simply said he was going to the Seven Eleven store. And at this point the officer really had nothing to arrest him for. So he just stayed with us until we could leave safely.

I do not feel safe having a Half-Way House like this, in the path of children. I’m going to attempt to have the house relocated. There are 4 Half-Way Houses in our neighborhood. We need all of us to be aware of these places so our children can be safe. I believe in not incarcerating or hospitalizing mentally ill people that are on their way to recovery. Nevertheless some of these people are not on the way to recovery, but the caretakers of these houses take people that are not on the road to recovery for personal gain. As it is obvious in this case. This Deranged man that attacked us verbally and threatened us with bodily harm. Is not well enough to be in this program and requires a more secured supervised secure environment.

cc. Charlotte Powers District 2, San Jose Council member.

Thank you,

Jorge Luis Lopez or

408-256-xxxx work / 408-973-xxxx pager

Thank you for sharing this with "our" community.

I have removed your phone numbers for the time being. Since you copied this to Councilmember Charlotte Powers in District 2, I have also forwarded it to Councilmember Pat Dando in District 10. I believe that this would be in District 10. Perhaps the two councilmembers could work together on this one. [SAS]

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