Woman says she was pushed while trying to stop digging in Lakeside

Posted at 10:25 AM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 13:25:05-04

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - As the battle continues over a sand mining project in the Lakeside area, a resident told 10News she was shoved by a worker when she tried to stop digging on the property.

Ana Nita said she spotted a crew drilling in the El Monte Valley area on Wednesday and decided to take matters into her own hands. She told 10News digging at the site has not been approved yet, which is why she confronted the crew.

In the video, Nita is heard asking the workers to stop what they were doing. She then starts talking to a man operating heavy equipment.

The unidentified worker is heard asking Nita to leave the property “or else I’ll hit you with the crane.”

“He’s very aware he can’t test drill here without a permit,” Nita told 10News.

During the confrontation, one of the workers pushed her.

“I asked him not to touch me because he doesn’t have my consent,” Nita said.

The proposal to extract 12 million tons of sand and gravel from a 479-acre site has not been approved, but Nita said Wednesday’s digging has her worried about Valley fever fungus that can be stirred into the air by anything that disrupts the soil, such as farming or construction.

Serious cases of Valley fever can cause meningitis, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“The wind was blowing, from the wind to the farm. If the kids get sick, the parents aren’t going to know why and when,” Nita said, referring to a nearby pumpkin patch.

The men who were drilling said in the video that they had a permit and were “getting soil samples.” They contacted sheriff’s deputies, and responding deputies eventually asked Nita to leave.

Nita said she contacted County Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s office, who alerted the county’s Code Enforcement department. The drilling was later stopped and the workers were sent home.

The hole in the ground has since been filled.

Nita said the crew “created toxic waste and that’s a huge liability. My next position is to take this to the state level because I'm sick of the corruption.”

Two public meetings are scheduled for Thursday to discuss the sand-mining proposal. The first meeting, being held 2 p.m. at the County Administration Building, will be with the San Diego River Conservancy. The second meeting at 6 p.m. with the Lakeside Community Planning Group will be held at the Lakeside Community Center.

10News tried to contact the two people associated with the project, but both did not return calls.