Press Releases

Double Homicide

Release Date/Time: 12/23/2015 9:36 AM

Incident: Double Homicide

Report #: 15-121181

Date: Wednesday, 12/23/2015

Time: 9:30 AM

Location: 1395 Nogal Ave.

Following the double homicide from the 19th, the second victim has been identified as Hugo Bello (25). Bello did not have a local home address but was known to be in the area off and on for the last six years.

Release Authorized by: Sgt. J. Gibson

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

Hit and Run with Injuries

Release Date/Time: 12/22/2015 9:54 PM

Incident: Hit and Run with Injuries

Report #: 15-121388

Date: Tuesday, 12/22/2015

Time: 6:54 PM

Location: N. Sanborn Rd. & Kilbreth Ave.

A group of people was stopped in front of La Paz Middle School waiting to cross N. Sanborn Rd.  A vehicle in the outside northbound lane stopped, allowing the group to proceed.  A 10 year old boy was the last one crossing the street when an approaching vehicle switched lanes to the pass the stopped vehicle.  As it did so, the vehicle struck the boy and fled northbound.  The victim sustained severe life-threatening injuries.  He was taken to NMC and later transferred to a Bay Area hospital.  The suspect vehicle was described as a gray or silver 2 door compact vehicle, possibly a Honda, with a headlight out. 

Release Authorized by: Commander Henry Gomez

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

AVOID the 20 DUI Winter Campaign

Release Date/Time: 12/22/2015 2:17 PM

Incident: AVOID the 20 DUI Winter Campaign

Report #: N/A

Date: Tuesday, 12/22/2015

Time: 2:14 PM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

Monterey and San Benito County AVOID DUI Campaign Weekend Update #1

The Winter Holiday DUI Campaign has resulted in a number of DUI arrests from local routine traffic enforcement and special Avoid the 20 DUI deployments for the first weekend in Monterey and San Benito Counties. From 12:01 AM Friday December 18, 2015 through midnight Sunday December 20, 2015, officers have arrested 23 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This count is actually much higher for the entire two counties as only 10 of the 20 agencies reported.

On Friday, December 18th, Salinas PD hosted a multijurisdictional DUI/Driver's License checkpoint. Officers from Salinas PD were joined by officers from Hollister PD and the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC). Five drivers were cited for driving on a suspended license and 5 drivers were cited for driving unlicensed.

Over the course of the next several days of the campaign several more DUI Saturation Patrols will be conducted throughout both counties. All regularly scheduled traffic and patrol officers will focus efforts at stopping and arresting DUI drivers during their normal shifts. Police, Sheriff and the CHP encourage all motorists to help make your community safer: Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911. Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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.

DUI arrest data collection will continue through midnight Monday, January 3, 2016. Avoid programs, named for the number of police agencies in each county, are deploying Multiple/DUI Driver's License Checkpoints and local Roving DUI patrols region wide during 17-day Winter Holiday DUI Campaign.

# # # MEDIA NOTE: The checkpoint locations and saturation patrols will be made available for media opportunities or ride-alongs each night.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

You Can Now Donate Online to the SPOA Victims Fund

Release Date/Time: 12/22/2015 11:37 AM

Incident: You Can Now Donate Online to SPOA Victims Fund

Date: Tuesday, 12/22/2015

Time: 11:37 AM

Location: Salinas, CA

Release Authorized by: Spencer Critchley, Acting PIO

Email: [email protected]

The Salinas Police Officers Association Victims Fund can now accept donations online, at salinaspd.com/spoa-victims-fund.

At that link, those who want to help victims in the Huntsman homicide/child abuse case can use a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account.

Delylah Tara and Shaun Tara

All the money raised will be used in the most directly beneficial ways possible, with advice from charitable giving experts. Money for funeral expenses is available from the Monterey County District Attorney's Victims of Crime Fund, which is coordinating with the SPOA.

As of Monday, Dec. 22, the SPOA Victims Fund had already received roughly $6,000 in donations, which have come from the SPOA, police officers and their spouses, and members of the public.

The Salinas Police Officers Association created the fund in response to the deaths of three-year-old Delylah Tara and six-year-old Shaun Tara (above), and the severe injuries suffered by their nine-year-old sister. All were in the care of Tami Joy Huntsman and her 17-year-old male companion.

Donors also have the following alternatives for making a contribution.

1. Mail a check made out to SPOA Victims Fund to:

Central Coast Federal Credit Union

4242 Gigling Rd.

Seaside, CA 93955-6300

2. Or make a deposit in person (during business hours) at any of these locations:

Salinas Police Department

222 Lincoln Ave.

Salinas, CA 93901

Central Coast Federal Credit Union, Main branch

4242 Gigling Rd.

Seaside, CA 93955-6300

Central Coast Federal Credit Union, Salinas branch

900 S. Main St.

Salinas, CA 93901

Central Coast Federal Credit Union, Soledad branch

315 Gabilan Drive

Soledad, CA 93960

Central Coast Federal Credit Union, King City branch

510 Canal Street

King City, CA 93930

3. Or make a direct transfer to:

SPOA Victims Fund account

Central Coast Federal Credit Union, Main branch

4242 Gigling Rd.

Seaside, CA 93955-6300

Bank routing number: 3211 72 374

# # #

Salinas Police Officers Assoc. Launches Fundraising Campaign for Child Abuse Victims

Salinas Police motorcycle officer reaches to shake hands with young boyRelease Date/Time: 12/18/2015 9:11 PM
Incident: Salinas Police Officers Assoc. Launches Fundraising Campaign for Child Abuse Victims
Date: Friday, 12/18/2015
Time: 9:11 PM
Location: Salinas, CA

Release Authorized by: Spencer Critchley, Acting PIO
Email: [email protected]

Salinas, CA -- The Salinas Police Officers Association today announced the launch of a fundraising campaign for the three children who suffered severe abuse while in the custody of Tami Huntsman and Huntsman's 17-year-old male companion. Officers have started donating to the account and invite members of the public to join in. The Monterey County District Attorney's Victims of Crime Unit, which provides funds for funeral expenses of crime victims, is coordinating with the SPOA campaign.

Huntsman and the young man were arrested on Friday, Dec. 11 in Quincy, California, after a nine-year-old girl was discovered suffering from serious injuries. On Monday, two other children who had been in their care were found dead in a storage unit in Redding, California.

The nine-year-old girl is being treated in a hospital and is in protective custody. 

The SPOA has set up an account for the victims at the Central Coast Federal Credit Union in Seaside, California. The organization is consulting with charitable giving experts to ensure that funds raised will be used in the most beneficial way for the surviving girl and the two deceased children.

"This is the worst case of child abuse we've ever seen," said Officer Jeff Munoz, an SPOA board member. "We know there are a lot of people who feel like we do, and who want to do what they can to reduce at least some of the suffering."

People who want to contribute can do so by check, cash or bank transfer, to the "SPOA Victims Fund." The SPOA hopes to be able to set up an online donation form, and will announce that when it's available.

Checks can be mailed to:

Central Coast Federal Credit Union
4242 Gigling Rd.
Seaside, CA 93955-6300

Donors can also make a deposit in person at the Salinas Police Department at 222 Lincoln Ave., Salinas, or any of the four Central Coast Federal Credit Union locations in Seaside, Salinas, Soledad and King City.

The Salinas Police Officers Association is the union representing Salinas Police officers.  

# # #

Double Homicide

Release Date/Time: 12/19/2015 9:26 PM

Incident: Double Homicide

Report #: 15-121181

Date: Saturday, 12/19/2015

Time: 4:46 PM

Location: 1395 Nogal Ave Natividad Creek park

Officers responded to a victim of a shooting at the park. When they arrived it appeared that Juan Carlos Cruz (17) and a yet to be identified second victim were seated in a car when they were approached by a lone gunman who opened fire on the car. Cruz was struck multiple times in the torso and died at the scene. John Doe was struck at least once in the chest. He was transported to NMC where he died while in surgery. Detectives are still working to identify the second victim.  The suspect was ony described as wearing dark clothing. Following the shooting, he fled to an awaiting dark colored SUV  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Salinas Police Department..

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Jeff Gibson

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

DUI Checkpoint

Release Date/Time: 12/19/2015 12:05 AM

Incident: DUI Checkpoint

Report #: N/A

Date: Friday, 12/18/2015

Time: 6:09 PM

Location: 726 South Main Street

On Friday, 12/18/15, at 1800 hours, the Salinas Police Department hosted a multijurisdictional DUI/Driver's License checkpoint in front of Salinas High School at 726 South Main Street. The checkpoint involved 12 officers from Salinas PD along with 2 officers from Hollister PD and 2 officers from the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC).

During the 5 hour checkpoint 1,025 cars passed through the checkpoint and officers contacted 697 drivers. No drivers were arrested for DUI. Standardized Field Sobriety Tests were administered to two drivers who were found to have consumed alcohol but officers found neither driver was legally impaired. Five drivers were cited for driving without a license and five drivers were cited for driving on a suspended license. Motorcycle officers working around the checkpoint made 20 traffic stops and wrote four additional traffic citations.

The checkpoint was part of the Avoid the 20 Winter Mobilization Campaign designed to discourage drinking and driving throughout the holiday period.

The checkpoint was supported by the Sun Street Center P.A.R.T.S. (Preventing Alcohol Related Trauma) Coalition and the Sunrise House Prevention Coalition.

Funding for the checkpoint and the holiday campaign is 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

Avoid the 20 Winter Mobilization

Release Date/Time: 12/16/2015 10:09 AM

Incident: Avoid the 20 Winter Mobilization

Report #: N/A

Date: Wednesday, 12/16/2015

Time: 10:09 AM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

Police Aim to Save Lives with ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' Crackdown

Salinas CA - If you're enjoying the holidays with a drink, law enforcement agencies from Monterey and San Benito Counties have a message for you: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across America will be actively searching for and arresting drunk drivers from December 18 to January 3. As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign period, police, sheriff and the CHP will be deploying DUI Checkpoints and DUI Saturation Patrols during the upcoming 17 day DUI Enforcement Campaign throughout the region.

Law enforcement in Monterey and San Benito Counties are conducting a DUI/Driver's License Checkpoint in Salinas along with numerous DUI saturation Patrols throughout both counties. The checkpoint will be conducted on Friday, December 18th, and will involve officers from several jurisdictions.

There are 10,000 reasons to crackdown: in 2013, 10,076 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver. In December 2013 alone there were 733 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Twenty-three of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day. California was witnessed to 98 deaths and another 1,852 injured in alcohol involved collisions in December 2013. 'All drivers need to hear the message,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross of the Salinas Police Department who organizes the Avoid the 20 Campaign. 'It is up to each driver to make the right choice. Drunk driving is not the choice to make. When you make that choice, people get hurt or die. That's why we're involved in this nationwide campaign and trying to get the message out: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” 'Don't risk it.” Sergeant Ross said, 'The only way to make sure you get home safely is to drive sober or catch a ride with a sober designated driver.”

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.

The Monterey and San Benito County DUI Coalition reminds everyone to 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 impaired you're more likely 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.

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

If you're caught drinking and driving you could face jail time, fines, loss of driver's license, towing fees, and other DUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average. That's not a small price, and that doesn't even count the heftier price you could pay: the price of your life or someone else's. In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, Sergeant Ross is calling on everyone to be alert and ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911! If you see a dangerous driver call immediately! If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely. "Everyone needs to work together to prevent drunk driving and prevent a holiday tragedy,” he said. "Remember, driving after drinking should never be an option." Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

The Avoid DUI Task Force holiday enforcement campaign is funded 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

Shots Fired

Release Date/Time: 12/15/2015 11:40 PM

Incident: Shots Fired

Report #: 15-120964

Date: Tuesday, 12/15/2015

Time: 10:09 PM

Location: Northridge Mall - East Main Entrance

Officers responded to Northridge Mall near the east main entrance for a report of a shooting. No victims were initially located, but witnesses told officers a white Honda with black stripes along the bottom was involved. It was last seen traveling eastbound on E. Boronda Rd. Police later contacted two males in their twenties, who said they had been walking outside near the main entrance when they were shot at. They were not hurt, but officers located evidence of shots having been fired. The victims described the suspect vehicle as a white Honda. There was no suspect information available and the motive for the shooting is not clear at this time.

Release Authorized by: Commander Henry Gomez

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Attempted Robbery / Robberies / Stolen Veh.

Release Date/Time: 12/15/2015 2:13 PM

Incident: Attempted Robbery / Robberies / Stolen Veh.

Report #: 15-120893, 0894, 0897, 0905

Date: Tuesday, 12/15/2015

Time: 8:39 PM

Location: Walmart N. Davis / Quickstop Clark / Valero W. Market St.

At 0839 hours, officers were dispatched to Walmart at 1375 N. Davis on a call of an attempted robbery.  Two male suspects dressed in all black with their faces covered and one had a rifle exited a red Nissan Frontier and ran into the store. One male stayed in the vehicle.  They ran straight to the courtesy counter but fled the store before completing the robbery. At 0851 hours, the Quick Stop at 11 Clark St. was robbed by an Hispanic male adult wearing dark clothing with a rifle. The suspect fled in a red Nissan Frontier.  At 0853 hours the Valero at 633 W. Market was robbed. A White male adult armed with a black semi auto handgun with green eyes wearing a black mask and dark clothing robbed the business before getting into a waiting Nissan Frontier.  A Salinas Police officer responding to the area located the robbery vehicle unccupied in a nearby neighborhood. The vehicle was recently stolen from a residential burglary in Soledad.  At approximately 10:00 am, officers were sent to a car fire at Martella / W. Lake.  A witness saw a Black male adult in the vehicle and appeared to be working on the stereo. As soon and the male exited the car, it began rolling down the street and into the drainage ditch before bursting into flames. The car was a 2006 Toyota Camry that was reported stolen this morning from north Salinas.  It is unknown at this time whether the Camry is related to the robberies.  Detectives are investigating this case.

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Gray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

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