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Family Violence — Hot Temperatures Fuel Tempers

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Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017 10:10 am

As summer temperatures rise, so do tempers. The week of Aug. 21 to 27 was notable because nine cases of family violence were reported in the mountain communities, including one case of cruelty to a child. These numbers stand out because the previous week had five family violence incidents, including an instance of cruelty to a child.

Most people consider summertime to be a season when they make conscious efforts to cool off. Swimming, boating, enjoying cool breezes, sipping summer beverages — all contribute to the ambiance of summer.

Too often, however, summer beverages consist of alcohol: piña colada, daiquiri, mai tai, mojito and Long Island iced tea are seasonal favorites, while year-round favorites like beer and wine remain standards in the refrigerator. However, they are counterproductive when it comes to staying hydrated, satisfying thirst and using good judgment by keeping your cool. When people are hot, they might become irritable, angry and violent. Intoxication makes matters worse.

Some family violence incidents are fueled by drug abuse; others may be triggered by a combination of drug use and alcohol. But the majority are the result of alcohol consumption.


An incident on Aug. 22 includes many typical factors. According to a report from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, David Gebase had been drinking when an argument developed with his wife of 10 years. They were working in a client’s home and argued about how long the cleaning job was taking. Gebase became angry.

The first time he approached his wife, she pushed him away. But the second time he approached, Gebase grabbed her by the throat with his hand, using the C-clamp technique.

The report stated that Gebase also grabbed the victim’s arm and was yelling at her. She had bruising to her left arm and redness to her throat.

The victim managed to call 9-1-1, and reported that her husband was going to kill her. The 9-1-1 dispatch report reflects that Gebase had been drinking, and that a court order was already in place. The victim’s call, however, was disconnected.

When deputies arrived, they arrested Gebase at 11:52 a.m. for Penal Code §273.5, felony spousal abuse. Gebase was released on bail 49 hours later, with no court appearance scheduled.

It was just one year and one month ago that Gebase was arrested for attempted murder. On July 8, 2016, Gebase and his wife got into an argument over his excessive drinking and Gebase choked his wife. In exchange for a plea of no contest to inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, three other counts were dismissed. Gebase was ordered to attend a 52-week Domestic Violence Batterers Program.


In addition to the domestic violence, four serious assaults were reported last week and one criminal death threat was made.

With continued high temperatures and a holiday weekend ahead, everyone is advised to stay cool, drink plenty of water, consume only a minimum amount of alcohol, if any, and be kind to family and strangers alike.

See the accompanying “Family Violence Resources” list for sources of assistance if needed.

Family Violence Resources

Victims of domestic violence, spousal abuse, sexual assault and other crimes have a number of resources to rely upon to prevent abuse before it occurs, during an attack, and afterward.

CALL 9-1-1

In a crisis situation, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Under California Penal Code §653(t), it is a crime to interfere with an emergency telephone call when another person is attempting to call 9-1-1. Such interference includes taking the phone away from the caller, hanging up the phone, pulling a phone line out of the wall or damaging the phone itself.


If the circumstances are such that you were unable to call 9-1-1 and the crisis has passed, do not hesitate at the first opportunity to contact the San Bernardino County Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station. In the mountain communities, sheriff’s deputies investigate reports of crimes against victims and arrest abusers.

Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station

(909) 336-0600.


The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has a Bureau of Victims Services. It offers services such as emergency help, counseling and various referrals for victims of crimes. The San Bernardino Victim Services Center nearest to the mountain communities is located at 303 West 3rd Street in San Bernardino. Contact the office at (909) 382-3846.


Even if finances are limited, everyone can get legal advice and assistance. Do not hesitate to seek help from the following services.

Inland County Legal Services

(909) 884-8615

Lawyer Referral Service

(909) 889-6791

Legal Aid

(909) 889-7328


(951) 369-3563


(800) 782-7463


If you believe you need a temporary restraining order (TRO), call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance. A local law enforcement agency (Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station) or a domestic violence shelter can also be of assistance.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

(800) 799-7233

(800) 799-SAFE


Several nonprofit organizations offer education, counseling and other services to victims of domestic violence.

DOVES: Domestic Violence Education & Services


Phone (909) 866-1546

24/7 hotline (800) 851-7601

Project Sister


(909) 623-1619

(626) 915-2535


San Bernardino County

Sexual Assault Services

24/7 hotline (800) 656-4673

24/7 hotline (909) 885-8884

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