Homeless man found dead in sleeping bag near Hopyard and I-580

Man not yet identified

Pleasanton police say an as-yet unidentified homeless man was found dead Monday afternoon in a sleeping bag near where Hopyard Road crosses over Interstate 580.

The man's body was found by a bicyclist on the Zone 7 property known as the Alamo Canal, not far from Johnson Drive.

The bicyclist called police after finding a deceased male in his late 30s or early 40s in a sleeping bag. A preliminary investigation revealed there were no obvious signs of foul play.

The subject was located in an area that appears to be a homeless encampment. The man who found the body told police he had seen the same subject, alive, about one week ago. The identity of the deceased is not yet known, and the body has been released to the Alameda County Coroner's Office.

Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to contact the Pleasanton Police Department at 931-5100.


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Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Dec 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

How sad this is and my thoughts are with this mans family, wherever and whoever they are. To have any homeless encampment anywhere is so sad and a sign of the times. Some people just give up on life and feel they are not connected to anything. Unfortunately these people do not realize there is help for them and no excuse for this in our civilized society. May he rest in peace.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 7, 2011 at 10:58 am

A tragic death. May he rest in peace.

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Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 7, 2011 at 11:18 am

sknywench is a registered user.

I agree its very sad. Many homeless have a mental illness combined with a drug or alcohol addiction. This is called a "dual diagnosis" as people with mental illness try to self-medicate themselves. Its an utter shame that our society allows such people to fall through the cracks, expecting them to make rationale and reasonable decisions when they can not. And then while we may have help in our society, who among us would be the first to protest a treatment center or shelter or housing facility that is tailored to these lost souls. Heaven forbid a child grows up not knowing that there are people who need help and compassion.

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Posted by concerned
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm

There are many more men and women in this valley that are either living on the streets or are very close to it. There are a number of agencies and ministries that are trying to help these individuals, however the facts are, if you are homeless and male in this valley, there are very few options for shelter. There are numerous options for food and clothing, but most of the shelters are located over the hill. You have a much better possibility of finding shelter in this valley if you are a female or a child. A number of the homeless males in this area have been through the shelters in SF or Oakland and have moved out to the valley.

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Posted by June K.
a resident of Parkside
on Dec 8, 2011 at 10:37 am

This is very sad and as mentioned above by sknywench, many people with mental illness and dual diagnosis who turn to drugs and alcohol to self medicate and make them numb just to cope. I mentioned in a prvious post that there is a support group that meets here in Pleasaton on Wednesday nights, here is the website to the story from Pleasanton Weekly that was posted on November 23rd Web Link
I added my comment on November 29th. I have been attending this support group for the past 3 years as a regular. I have severe depression and this group has helped me tremendously. The people that attend are regulars that have been attending for several years and then there are ones that are first timers or other's that pop in from time to time. Many people who attend this support group have attempted suicide or thought about it because they just can't cope with life, either clinical or situational. I and many other's are very greatful to the chapter leader (Al), I don't know where we would go, just knowing that there support available to help. This is a great service he offers the community, I give him much credit for being there every week, and he also runs the Castro Valley group on Friday nights. This is totally voluntarily on his part, he does not receive compensation, this is a peer run support group, free of charge. Thank you very much for offering this group, it is greatly apprciated!

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Posted by Morfan
a resident of Beratlis Place
on Dec 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

and they still haven't identified him? someone out there knows his name

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Posted by Glenn Wohltmann
Pleasanton Weekly staff reporter
on Dec 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

Glenn Wohltmann is a registered user.

Actually, he has been identified, but the name isn't being released by the county coroner's office. See the updated story here:

Web Link

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Posted by reasonable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 8, 2011 at 11:58 am

Even though this individual obviously made some less than ideal decisions along the way, this is someone's son, and perhaps a brother or father. It is heartbreaking.

While it is wonderful to hear of those who offer support and services to those in despair - we need to do more to support men as well as women. As a previous post mentioned, it is very difficult for a homeless man to find services and shelter. As a society we are much more forgiving and generous toward abused women and single mothers with children. Recently, I volunteered at a home in San Francisco that will take intact families or single fathers with children -- astonishingly, this makes them somewhat unique in that area. But when I asked if they would take a homeless father with part time custody - so that he could maintain his relationship with his children while going through a difficult situation, the answer was no.

While there are places that help single, homeless men (CityTeam in San Jose for one) very few will help homeless couples without children or fathers with children (either full or part time). This only serves to further break the bonds these men have with their families. It must change.

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Posted by Oracle
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 9, 2011 at 8:56 am

Obama and his fellow socialists in the Congress are absolutely devastating the economy of the United States. Expect to see more and more homeless as people that have worked their whole lives are losing thier homes can't find a job. Citizens had better get very serious about voting out Obama and left wing Congresspersons in 2012.

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Posted by Apples
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Where has his family been in all this time?

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Posted by Pleasanton
a resident of Country Fair
on Dec 10, 2011 at 6:16 am

To Apples and others who ask, "Where has his family been"...They have watched their beautiful son or daughter start to show signs of mental illness (depression, mood disorders, psychosis) maybe in late high school or when they were just starting college. The mentally ill person doesn't recognize the problem, but knows if they use a street drug like pot or alcohol they will feel better. The family then begins a long painful journey trying to get their loved one in treatment but when the child turns 18, the parents are helpless. There should be a shelter in the Tri-Valley for single men to stay when they need food, shelter, and help, especially in this cold weather. The Pleasanton Police would advocate for this, too, because they see the problem themselves in their work.

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Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Dec 13, 2011 at 1:46 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

I agree with the above. Is there a support group for family members to help cope when love-ones have mental illness.

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Posted by The Jurich Family
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 15, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Both my husband, and my daughter had the privilege of knowing "the man under the bridge"...Riding their bikes from our Pleasanton neighborhood to Walnut Creek for the past 3 years..they would have to pass through his "house" by walking their bikes under the shallow area of the overpass....He would always say to them..."Don't bump your head"..followed by..."Have a nice ride"....We were very sad to read about his passing...Even though he was a homeless man...down on his luck...he did touch my family...He will be missed.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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