Press Releases

Avoid the 20 Halloween operations

Release Date/Time: 10/29/2015 12:03 PM

Incident: Avoid the 20 Halloween operations

Report #: N/A

Date: Thursday, 10/29/2015

Time: 11:09 AM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

On Halloween, and Every Day, Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

The Avoid the 20 Reminds Halloween Partiers Against Drinking and Driving

Salinas, CA— This Halloween, Monterey and San Benito Counties' Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force is reminding Halloween partiers that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. If your Halloween party involves alcohol, then you have to make a plan to get home without getting behind the wheel. 'If you want to stay safe this Halloween then make a plan to get home without driving if you've been drinking,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross 'Even one drink impairs judgment, so plan to get home by taxi, ride share, mass transit, or designate a sober drive. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, so think ahead to stay safe.”

The Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force is deploying DUI Saturation Patrols with extra DUI officers in the several cities within both counties Halloween night to supplement routine patrol officers on one of the deadliest nights of the year. Officers will be looking for the tale-tell sign of alcohol and or drug impairment during each enforcement contact, all weekend long as many will be attending parties were alcohol is served. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 43 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night (6 p.m. October 31st – 5:59 a.m. November 1st) from 2009 to 2013 were in crashes involving a drunk driver. On Halloween Night alone 119 people lost their lives over that same period nationwide. Children out trick-or-treating and the parents accompanying them are also at risk, as 19 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes on Halloween night (2009-2013) involved drunk drivers.

It is illegal everywhere in America to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving crashes with 867 of those in California alone along with 23,000 others seriously injured across the state. Even if you drive drunk and aren't killed or seriously injured you could end up paying as much $10,000 for a DUI. Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you're taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects. Law Enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of drunk driving reminding everyone that all it takes is a little planning ahead.

Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don't drink and drive. The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to 'Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a 'List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role. They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, so follow these simple tips to stay safe:

• Plan a safe way to get home before you attend the party. Alcohol impairs judgment, as well as reaction time. If you're drunk you're more like to choose to drive drunk.

• Designate a sober driver; take public transportation, a car service, or a call a sober friend of family member to get home.

• Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

• Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911.

• If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely.

The Avoid the 20 campaign is partnering with officers from around the region as part of the national and statewide effort. Funding for these special operations are provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Warrant Suspect

Release Date/Time: 10/27/2015 2:32 PM

Incident:  Warrant Suspect

Date: Tuesday, 10/27/2015

Time: 2:32 PM

Location:222 Lincoln Avenue

The Salinas Police Department is asking for the community's assistance in locating warrant suspect Damien Huerta.  Huerta is a Hispanic male adult, 29 years old, 5'11", 200 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes.  Huerta has a mole on the left side of his nose.  He may still have pierced ears. Huerta has an outstanding no-bail warrant for fraud issued for his arrest.  Anyone with information concerning his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Byron Gansen at 831-758-7137 or email at [email protected] or the tip-line at 831-775-4222.

Release Authorized by:  Cdr. Dave Shaw

Telephone:  831-758-7271

Burglary and Fraud Suspect

Release Date/Time: 10/27/2015 2:23 PM

Incident:  Burglary and Fraud Suspect

Date: Tuesday, 10/27/2015

Time: 2:23 PM

Location: 7Eleven  619 S, Main Street

Shortly after the vicitm's purse was stolen from a locked locker inside the In Shape Gym, her credit cards were used in two local businesses.  Jasmin Williamson was captured on surveillance video using the credit cards.  Williamson is an African American female, 30 years old, 5'3", 180 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.  She is wanted for burglary and fraud.  Anyone with information related to Williamson's whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Byron Gansen at 831-758-7137 or email at [email protected].  

Release Authorized by:  Cdr. Dave Shaw

Telephone:  831-758-7271

Homicide (Shooting)

Release Date/Time: 10/21/2015 10:00 AM

Incident: Homicide

Date: Monday, 10/19/2015

Time: 3:00 PM

Location: 1400 Block Garner Ave.

On October 19, 2015 at approximately 3:00 PM, Officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 1400 Block of Garner Ave. Ernesto Ruiz Martinez, 35, was found down on the street suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. It was determined that Martinez had been on a bicycle and was chased by two Hispanic males in a dark colored 2 door vehicle. At least one of the suspects shot at Martinez striking him several times. Martinez was initially transported to the hospital for his injuries.  Salinas Police Investigators who arrived to investigate noticed that it is highly probable that there were many people present in the area at the time of the shooting based upon the location of the shooting and time of day. 

On October 20, 2015 Salinas Police Investigators were notified by the treating hospital that Martinez died as a result of his injuries. 

Those who may have information that may aid in this investigation are urged to call the Salinas Police Department Investigations Division at 831-758-7226.  Information can also be left anonymously at 831-775-4222 or at the WeTip line at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Release Authorized by: Commander Vincent Maiorana

Telephone: 831-758-7350

Update on Fatal Hit and Run

Release Date/Time: 10/20/2015 5:11 PM

Incident: Update on Fatal Hit and Run

Report #: 15-100543

Date: Tuesday, 10/20/2015

Time: 5:09 PM

Location: 855 East Laurel Drive

On October 11th a 58-year-old male was crossing the road in the 800 block of East Laurel Drive (the Laurel Extension). He was struck by a blue vehicle traveling westbound. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The man has been identified as Ramiro Ortiz Zamora of Salinas. The right side mirror was knocked off of the suspect vehicle during the collision. Investigators found that the mirror comes from a blue Nissan 350Z. It appears as the though the car was red a some point and was painted blue after purchase. Anyone with any information is encourage to call Sergeant Gerry Ross at (831) 758-7975.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250



Release Date/Time: 10/17/2015 12:40 AM

Incident: Homicide

Report #: 15-100832

Date: Friday, 10/16/2015

Time: 8:45 PM

Location: 1200 block of 1st Avenue

On Friday, 10/16 at approximately 7:45 pm officers responded to the 1200 block of 1St Ave on a report of a gunshot victim. On arrival they found Jesus Mendoza Ramirez (33) suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Officers attempted CPR, however Ramirez died at the scene. It appears as though Ramirez was washing his vehicle in his driveway when he was confronted by two unknown subjects dressed all in black. The suspects were last seen running northbound on Towt St. This homicide is being investigated as gang related.

Salinas Police Detectives are looking for additional witnesses or anyone who may information regarding this incident. Witnesses are encouraged to contact Detective Byron Gansen at 831-758-7137.  If you would like to remain anonymous, you can also call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222 or the We-Tip-Line at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Release Authorized by: Jim Arensdorf

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Serious Traffic Collision

Release Date/Time: 10/13/2015 4:53 PM

Incident: Serious Traffic Collision

Report #: 15-100414

Date: Friday, 10/9/2015

Time: 7:58 AM

Location: Harden Parkway and McKinnon Street

Corazon Galindo, 75, was e/b on Harden Parkway in the #2 lane. It appears she may have had a medical issue as she was approaching the intersection at 40 to 50 mph in her 91 Toyota Camry. Galindo did not slow down as she drove through the stop sign at McKinnon Street. When she entered the intersection she was struck broadside by a 06 Chrysler 300. This caused the Toyota to spin out and strike a Nissan van that was already in the intersection. The Camry then careened in a n/e direction where it struck the wooden sign for McKinnon Park and went head-on into a palm tree. Galindo suffered trauma to her chest and had serious internal injuries. She was transported to Natividad Medical Center where she was listed in critical condition. She was later transfered to a Bay Area hospital for additional treatment. Today Galindo died from her injuries.

No other person was injured in the collision. The cause of the collision is still unknown and the investigation is continuing. This is the 7th traffic collision fatality in Salinas this year.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Fatal Hit and Run

Release Date/Time: 10/11/2015 8:53 PM

Incident: Fatal Hit and Run

Report #: 15-100543

Date: Sunday, 10/11/2015

Time: 8:11 PM

Location: 855 e. Laurel

A 58-year old male was crossing the road in the 800 block of E. Laurel Dr. He was struck by a vehicle that was traveling Westbound. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The vehicle fled and no witnesses were available. The right, side view mirror from a blue car was left behind and investigators will be trying to determine the make of the vehicle based on the evidence. The identity of the victim is being witheld pending notification of family. Investigators believe the victim may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision.

Release Authorized by: Sheldon Bryan

Telephone: (831) 758-7250


Release Date/Time: 10/11/2015 10:55 AM

Incident: Homicide

Report #: 15-100512

Date: Sunday, 10/11/2015

Time: 1:45 AM

Location: 29 Julia St.

 ******UPDATE****** After further investigation, Juan Carlos Rodriguez (43) was arrested for the homicide of Jose Sanchez.  He was identified as one of the two men who got into an altercation with Sanchez.  Rodriguez was booked into the county jail for the homicide and outstanding warrants for drug and gun charges. 

Release Authorized by: Sgt. J. Gibson

Telephone: (831) 758-7128


Release Date/Time: 10/11/2015 5:43 AM

Incident: Homicide

Report #: 15-100511

Date: Sunday, 10/11/2015

Time: 1:03 AM

Location: 327 Park St.

Officers responded to the victim of a shooting.  When they arrived they found Andrew Hyde (25) dead in front of the house.  Witnesses stated Hyde unknowingly entered the house and possibly confronted the homeowner with a knife.  The homeowner produced a firearm and fired at Hyde multiple times.  The reason for Hyde being at the home is unclear at this stage of the investigation.  The investigation is in the preliminary stages and continues.    

Release Authorized by: Sgt. J. Gibson

Telephone: (831) 758-7128


Question of the Day

What can I do if I see a car parked in my neighborhood which I think may be abandoned?

The City of Salinas has people specifically designated to handle abandoned vehicles and long-term parking problems. These problems are generally handled on a complaint basis. The abandoned vehicle office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. The phone number, day or night, is (831) 758-7316.

The following information will help you determine whether or not a vehicle has been abandoned or is a long-term parking problem:


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