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Detectives Arrest Man Suspected of Raping Girl, 12, He Met Online

Anaheim Police detectives arrested a man accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl he met on the social networking site MySpace, officials said today.

Suspect Matthew Casteneda

Matthew Martinez Casteneda, 33, was arrested after arranging a meeting with the girl at a Costa Mesa mall. Later, the man is accused of taking the girl to a motel at Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue and raping her, police say.

“Sex crimes Sgt. Tracy Hittesdorf, Det. Brian Hayes and the Crime Task Force jumped on this case. We officially received the report on Friday,” said Sgt. Rick Martinez. “By midnight, they identified and located the suspect who was hidding in a warehouse in Costa Mesa. Great work!”

To read an Orange County Register story about the case, click here.

Voice of APD ‘Hears Skaters Blades as They Carve’ Down the Ice

* Mike Villani, a long-time Anaheim Police Department volunteer, is broadcasting figure skating at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. This is his most recent dispatch.

Voice of APD Mike Villani with long-time international skating announcer and figure skating coach PJ Kwong

After having watched three days of Olympic Figure Skating competition: Sunday, the Pairs Short Program; Monday, the Pairs Free Program; and Tuesday night’s Men’s Short Program, I’m pleased to report I now know the difference between a Beilman Spin and a Bracket Turn.

If you were watching you saw some outstanding figure skating drama as American Evan Lysacek used his allocated four minutes, 30 seconds in the free skate program to deliver a flawless performance in the men’s competition to win the gold medal.

An equally stunning performance by Evgeni Plushenko of the Russian Federation secures him the Silver, and the Bronze went to Diasuke Takahashi of Japan. The difference in the point total at this level of competition is so tight; any one of these three could have taken the top prize.

But, let me put aside figure skating for a moment to let my readers know this city (Vancouver), this province (British Columbia) and this country (Canada) are simply going just NUTS for these Olympics!

The initial fire was lit some seven years ago when Vancouver was chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host these XXIst Olympic Winter Games. The flame continued to burn brightly during its 106-day journey across this vast country and an almost-flawless opening ceremony.

Then, last Saturday, all of a sudden it was like someone threw a can of high-octane jet fuel on the torch as moguls champion Alexandre Bilodeau made history by becoming the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal on his native soil.

Sunday night, when Bilodeau was presented his medal in a ceremony at BC Place, several of us were having dinner just down the street in Yaletown, Vancouver’s trendy, upscale, renovated warehouse district.

A number of streets in that area had been blocked off and the ebullient revelers were out in force, waving the Canadian flag, singing their national anthem and, in general, totally engulfing themselves in the glory of their heritage. As for me, it was extremely heartwarming to be surrounded by a display of such unabashed national pride and spirit.

Back to figure skating. As breathtaking as it is to watch on TV…It’s even more stunning to see in person, especially from one of the best seats in the house.

I’m so close to the action I can almost count the number of sequins on the elaborate costumes. I can hear the skaters’ blades as they carve their way down the ice. I can clearly see the looks of anguish when they stumble or fall, as well as the pure joy – with a grin from ear to ear – as they stick a Triple Axel or a Triple Lutz. The grace and fluidity that the more-talented skaters possess is pure magic to watch. Oh yeah…and they’re paying me to do it.

The Chinese where hard to beat in the Pairs and claimed both Gold and Silver; with the Germans winning Bronze.

I had Wednesday night off as short track took the rink. I went to watch what some call “Roller Derby on Ice” and saw the legendary Apolo Anton Ohno skate. Believe me, he is exhilarating to watch as he hangs back in the pack until just the right moment and then explodes in what seems like a cosmic burst of sheer power to jump way ahead. Amazing athleticism! Speaking of which, congratulations to Team USA’s Lindsey Vonn (Women’s Downhill Skiing) and Shaun White (Snowboarding) for their respective gold medal-winning performances. The American medal tally keeps rising as I report from The Games.

Sany Commended, Survivors Gather and Villani Shines at the Olympics

Officer Sany

The recent commendation of officer Randy Sany led the Anaheim Bulletin’s most recent installment of the APD column, “Behind the Badge.”

Also featured was opening day of the Anaheim Family Justice Center’s 2nd Survivor’s Academy and “Voice of APD” Mike Villani’s broadcasting role in the Winter Olympics.

To read the article, click here.

Police Explorers Work Hard, Celebrate Completing Winter Academy

For 144 high school students, President’s Day weekend meant early mornings, military drills and a rugged camp environment at the Orange County Law Enforcement Winter Academy.

The program, held at Irvine Regional Park, was hosted by police agencies from throughout the county, including Anaheim PD. Below are some photos taken by Sgt. Rick Martinez.

It was a military-like experience for the Explorers

Lt. Steve Whalen during inspection

Congratulations to the graduates

Sgt. Martinez’s Impact on APD’s Explorers Featured on the Front Page of the Anaheim Bulletin

Click on the image to read the story

Cops 4 Kids Golf Tournament to Benefit Gang Prevention Effort

Cops 4 Kids and the Baker to Vegas Running Team is hosting a golf tournament March 8 to raise money for gang prevention efforts.

The tournament will be held at Black Gold Golf Course in Yorba Linda. Cost is $125 per person; $100 for retirees. The entry fee includes a golf cart, beverage and lunch and dinner.

For more information, please call (714) 493-4631.

Retired APD Lieutenant Randy West Named Deputy Chief at University of Washington PD

Photo by UW's The Daily photographer Sang Vo

Randy West retired last month from Anaheim PD.

Now, the former lieutenant with 30 years’ law enforcement experience will serve as deputy chief for the University of Washington Police Department.

“One of the things that Deputy Chief West has very strong knowledge of is some of the technologies that the police department can use to provide information,” UW police chief John Vinson told The Daily, UW’s student newspaper. “He will assist us in exploring other alternatives that we can use to disseminate information, in addition to the regular timely-warning notifications that we have to disseminate.”

To read the rest of the article, click here.