State

August 17, 2013

The Buzz: Police incident launches California Capitol telephone tree game

The cellphones of California Capitol insiders were buzzing early Thursday with the words "Hernández" and "police."

The cellphones of California Capitol insiders were buzzing early Thursday with the words "Hernández" and "police."

Witnesses said they saw police entering loft apartments near the state Capitol and that one of them belonged to someone named Hernández.

That sparked what some described as a texting frenzy about Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-West Covina, who lives in the building.

In past years, Hernández has been the subject of several accusations of criminal or ethical misconduct, which he has successfully battled so far.

But Thursday? "No. Not me," Hernández told The Bee.

Police had entered a loft rented as office space by another Hernandez – Ignacio Hernández, a lobbyist who works for the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

Witnesses said they thought they heard police say it was a case of what's called "swatting," or filing a false report. Ignacio Hernández's defense attorney group is opposing a measure, Senate Bill 333, to stiffen penalties for swatting.

Was it related?

Nope, said Sacramento police spokesman Officer Doug Morse on Thursday.

Police said they had investigated a call involving not swatting, but squatting – as in a transient person causing a disturbance in the building. They said Friday the mix-up was more likely related to a medical aid call at the apartment building.

Officers forced entry into Ignacio Hernández's unoccupied office, but the incident was unrelated to the lobbyist or the assemblyman.

"Rumors, nobody's got time for that," the lobbyist said.

– Melody Gutierrez

BY THE NUMBERS

A quarter of Californians are obese, but California ranks No. 41 among the states plus the District of Columbia for obesity, according to a new report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It found obesity rates higher in the South and Midwest and lower in the Northeast and West. Louisiana ranked highest, Colorado lowest.

– Dan Walters

WORTH REPEATING

"My boys, who went back to the public school after many years away, will not be returning."

ASSEMBLYMAN TIM DONNELLY, R-Twin Peaks, writing on the conservative WND website that he's pulling his teens out of public school now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 1266, which establishes rights for transgender students

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