El Portal crosswalk victim still unidentified

Sherriff’s Department continues investigation, contacting victim’s family


George Morin / The Advocate

The crosswalk on El Portal Drive leading up to Contra Costa College was the site of a possible suicide at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

By Lorenzo Morotti, Editor-in-Chief

The name of the victim and the circumstances surrounding a suspected suicide in a crosswalk on El Portal Drive early Wednesday morning will not be released until the Contra Costa County Sherriff Coroner’s Department makes contact with the victim’s next of kin, Deputy Chad Pryor said this afternoon.

The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, San Pablo Police Officer Jeremy Johnson said.

Sgt. Brian Bubar, of the San Pablo PD, was the watch officer on duty when the incident happened at the crosswalk 50 feet from where Castro Street, on the Contra Costa College campus, meets El Portal Drive.

The crosswalk’s safety lights and audible sensors, meant to protect pedestrians from automobiles, however, were not functioning weeks before the fatal incident and weren’t functioning Wednesdayafternoon when The Advocate checked them.

A cleanup crew began to wash the site of blood with water and cleaning chemicals at 8 a.m. By 8:30 a.m., police and first responders finished cleaning the area and re-opened the crosswalk and El Portal Drive to traffic.

Johnson said Bubar was at the scene of the incident. Bubar said, “What I can tell you is that it was not a homicide.”

District Police Services Chief Charles Gibson said the incident falls under the jurisdiction of the San Pablo Police because it occurred off of the west side of the CCC campus.

San Pablo Chief of Police Lisa G. Rosales said because of the circumstances surrounding a possible suicide, her department is unable to provide any information about the incident at this time out of respect for the victim’s family.

Police Services Lt. Jose Oliveira said any police department is exempt from releasing what would normally be public information when doing so may impede that department’s investigation.

“It’s standard practice involving suicides,” Oliveira said. “Imagine hearing news that a family member may have killed themselves through a media group, instead of an officer contacting the family. (It’s) a more personal way.”