Police seeking help in solving park janitor’s stabbing death

PLEASANT HILL, CA (Feb. 11, 2024) — Pleasant Hill Police are actively investigating the fatal stabbing of a Pleasant Hill Parks District janitor who was found lying in the main parking lot of Pleasant Hill Park along Gregory Lane early Saturday morning.

The motive for the attack on Santiago Jacobo, 37, of Pittsburg, which police believed occurred between late Friday evening and early Saturday morning, is not known.

According to police, on Saturday, Feb. 10, at approximately 4:50 a.m., Pleasant Hill Police dispatch received a report of an unconscious and unresponsive male found lying on the ground in the main parking lot of Pleasant Hill Park, 147 Gregory Lane, near Woodsworth Lane/Cleaveland Road.

Jacobo was discovered in the parking lot by his wife who then called 911. She came to the park after her husband had not returned home following his shift. Jacobo was a member of the janitorial staff that had been working at the park late Friday evening.

Officers and medical personnel responded to the scene and determined the man was deceased. Upon further examination, it was determined the man had sustained stab wounds.

Police pursuing all leads

Pleasant Hill Police Lt. Matt Kristic noted Jacobo was a regularly scheduled employee who worked at that location.

“He was a regular employee and well known by management for the parks district,” he said.

The department along with the City of Pleasant Hill, and the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District all expressed their deep condolences to the family and friends of the victim.

Police are now pursuing all leads and avenues, including considering video footage that might be available around locations around the site of the attack.

“I can tell you that video footage is always a part of the evidence that we gather – not only at the immediate scene but the surrounding areas including residential and businesses in the immediate (area) surrounding the park,” Kristic said.

Kristic noted investigators were out all day canvassing the area and talking with neighbors.

“Anything they are finding is being held close to the chest,” he said.

Rare violent crime

This is the city’s first homicide of 2024. The last homicide in Pleasant Hill occurred in April 2023, which involved a shooting in the parking lot by the Farrington’s bar.

Violent crime of this nature being rare in Pleasant Hill, Kristic used a basketball analogy to characterize the department’s approach to making an arrest in the case.

“It is full court press when this kind of crime happens in our city,” he said. “We are using any and all resources to bring this case to a conclusion.”

Asked if there were any homeless in the park at the time who might have seen or heard something, Kristic emphasized that the unhoused “are very familiar” with the expectations for Pleasant Hill Park.

“The park is one of those (areas) that is heavily enforced,” he said of the posted rules for camping after hours of darkness unless someone is associated with a scheduled event happening there. “There was not a lot activity in the park.”

Any person with information related to this crime is encouraged to contact the Pleasant Hill Police Investigations Bureau at 1-925-288-4630.

David Scholz
David Scholz

David Scholz is back in journalism as a freelance writer and photographer after nearly two decades in education. Prior to moving into teaching in 2000, he worked as a full-time journalist since 1988 for rural community and small daily newspapers in Central Ohio and Northern Nevada, and later in California with The Business Journal in Fresno and dailies in the Bay Area, including The Oakland Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle. More recently Scholz also worked in an editing, writing, and page layout role with the Rossmoor News.