2 men charged with severing utility line, disabling 911 service

Man arrested for murdering woman, setting her ablaze in San Pablo

The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office has charged two men in connection with the severing of a utility line that cut 911 service for residents in Pinole, Hercules and San Pablo.

Jesus Francisco Arias-Ayala, 31, of Hayward, and Daniel Antonio Mena-Diaz, 49, of Richmond, were arrested by Pinole police on Saturday, June 22. Around 7:15 p.m. that night, officers responded to reports of a 911 system outage and traced the issue to a bridge near the Pinole-Hercules city line on San Pablo Avenue. 

Upon arrival, officers found Arias-Ayala, Mena-Diaz and a third suspect under the bridge, police said. Arias-Ayala and Mena-Diaz were apprehended following a brief chase.

During the outage, 911 calls were being rerouted to the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. 

Arias-Ayala was subsequently charged with felony for cutting utility line, felony vandalism, a misdemeanor for resisting, obstructing, or delaying a peace officer, and a misdemeanor for possession of burglar’s tools. Mena-Diaz’s two felony charges are the same as Arias-Ayala, as is one misdemeanor charge of resisting, obstructing, or delaying a peace officer.

Both men were scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon.

It wasn’t the first time an incident like this occurred recently. On June 4, a copper theft led to the disabling of the 911 and business lines for a week. Arias-Ayala and Mena-Diaz were found in the same area where the June 4 copper theft occurred.