News Briefs


Man arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, raping wife

A man was arrested by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies Saturday for allegedly kidnapping his estranged wife from outside her Malibu workplace and raping her. According to multiple reports, the woman told authorities that her estranged husband met her after work at around 6:30 p.m. Friday and forced her into her car with a semi-automatic handgun.

The man, identified as 27-year-old Rudy Zendejas, then allegedly forced the victim to drive to a residential area of central Los Angeles, where he raped her in the car. The woman said she was then told to drive the car to the corner of Western Avenue and 2nd Street, where Zendejas got out and ran away. The victim then returned home and called the police.

Zendejas was arrested in Los Angeles on Saturday evening for kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, and booked at the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station.

Tow truck driver rescued from cliff

The Malibu Search and Rescue Team saved a tow truck driver who was stranded on the side of a cliff on Mulholland Highway in Malibu Friday night. The driver had gone down over the side to retrieve a motorcycle that had been involved in an accident a few hours earlier.

In the earlier accident, a motorcyclist had been thrown about 20 to 30 feet over the cliff, but was able to make it to the top of the highway before rescuers arrived. The motorcycle slid hundreds of feet down the cliff side, prompting the call to the tow truck company.

Two men arrived to retrieve the motorcycle at around 9:30 p.m. One of the men carried a cable over the cliff and down toward the motorcycle. When he was about 200 feet over the side, he slipped and slid about another 50 feet. The 36-year-old Newbury Park resident lost hold of the cable, and was clinging to brush until the search and rescue team arrived.

Malibu SAR personnel got the stranded man into a safety harness and raised him up out of the cliff. The two-and-a-half hour rescue was the 75th rescue made by the Malibu rescue team so far in 2012.

“It was a good thing we reached the man when we did,” Reserve Sergeant David Katz, Malibu Search and Rescue Team Public Information Officer, said in a press release. “While he was tired and unharmed, our first rescuer to reach him reported that the man was clinging to the side of the cliff so tightly that the rescuer had difficulty wrapping the man in the rescue harness… With large rocks and boulders below, the man was very lucky to have not slid further or the result could have been tragic.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Malibu Search and Rescue Team is comprised of a volunteer group of reserve sheriff’s deputies and civilians.

MHS campus expansion set for hearing

The City of Malibu Planning Commission will make a decision next week whether to approve permits for the Malibu Middle and High School Campus Improvement Project Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Malibu City Hall.

Permits under consideration include a coastal development permit, conditional use permit, variances and a demolition permit, among others.

The proposed project would redevelop parts of the school campus with a new classroom, library and administrative building. It would also add increased parking, new student drop-off and pick-up lane, two new tennis courts and new outdoor common areas, among other additions.

For more information, visit

City starts new recycling program

The City of Malibu has launched a new recycling program to give residents the opportunity to dispose of certain types of household hazardous waste and electronic waste. The city will host bimonthly events throughout the year, beginning Aug. 18, where residents can drop off waste for proper recycling.

The new recycling event will replace the former monthly oil and paint roundup and quarterly electronic waste collection. With the consolidated schedule, the city aims to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by about 50 percent annually.

The recycling events will take place the third Saturday of February, April, June, August, October and December at Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Rd., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, visit

Dates for second 405 freeway closure announced

The second 10-mile closure of both directions of the 405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass, which is being called “Carmageddon II,” has been scheduled for Sat., Sept. 29 through Sun., Sept. 30 in order for contractors to demolish the remaining side of the Mulholland Bridge.

On Fri., Sept. 28, ramps along 405 from the I-10 to the U.S. 101 will be shut down around 7 p.m., and closure of individual freeway lanes will begin at 10 p.m to ensure full freeway closure by midnight. The freeway is scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. on Mon., Oct., 1.

Authorities are urging motorists throughout Southern California to “Plan ahead, avoid the area, or eat, shop and play locally” during the 53-hour closure.

Last summer the first 405 freeway closure took place so contractors could demolish one half of the Mulholland Bridge. Despite public fears the closure would be a disaster, the project went smoothly and workers finished early. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Caltrans, Metrolink, Los Angeles Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Los Angeles Fire Department are working to give the public advance notice to ensure residents can plan ahead for the closure.

The Mulholland Bridge is being demolished and reconstructed as a part of the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project.

For more information on the project, visit

City accepting applications for student interns

The City of Malibu Student Intern Program is now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 school year and they will be accepted through Sep. 9. Applicants must currently be enrolled in high school, or be undergraduate or graduate students. Interviews will be held on Sep. 17 with the interns starting on Sep. 26. The program exposes students to public service, promotes interest in local government and provides the opportunity to work on administrative assignments and special projects. For more information, call 310.456.2489 ext. 228.

Groups hosting fire prevention events

TreePeople and partner Mountains Restoration Trust are leading a series of volunteer events to restore the ecosystem of the Santa Monica Mountains and prevent the outbreak of wildfires. At these events, the teams remove invasive plants to increase the diversity of the native plants in the area and plant native vegetation, in addition to caring for the plants.

According to the groups, restoring the ecosystem by plantings trees in the Santa Monica Mountains helps slow water evaporation and retain soil moisture, which is important during fire season in order to help prevent wildfires.

For more information, call 805.798.1226.

New exhibit opens at local museum

The Adamson House and Malibu Lagoon Museum have announced a new exhibit called “Archive Treasures.” The exhibit includes images of cattle ranching, the railroad built by the Rindge family, Malibu Potteries, the two-lane Pacific Coast Highway, and members of the Rindge and Adamson families. The closing date of the exhibit has yet to be determined by the museum. The museum is located at 23200 Pacific Coast Highway and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, call 310.456.8432.