Press Releases

Traffic Collision

Release Date/Time: 6/25/2014 9:36 AM

Incident: Traffic Collision

Report #: 14-061093

Date: Tuesday, 6/24/2014

Time: 10:58 AM

Location: John Street / U.S. 101

Alejandro Andrade, 46, was riding his Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle westbound on John Street on the overpass above U.S. 101. Sharon Battle, 64, had been driving northbound on the freeway in her 2013 Dodge Dart. She took the off-ramp onto John Street where she made a right turn before changing lanes in front of the motorcycle. The motorcycle struck the left/front fender area of the Dodge and went down in the opposing lane. Andrade was wearing a helmet but, nonetheless, struck his head on the pavement and was rendered unconscious. He was flown to a trauma center at a San Jose area hospital. At this time he is still unconscious in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. The cause of the collision is still under investigation. Anyone with information on this collision is encouraged to call Traffic Officer Rich Diaz of the Salinas Police Department at (831) 758-7189.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Retirement - Two veteran Salinas Police Sergeant's Mark Babione (34 years) and Rick Soratos (29 years) - Final Briefing Announcement

Two veteran Salinas Police Sergeants; Mark Babione (34 years) and Rick Soratos (29 years) are slated to retire after lengthy, dedicated careers with the Salinas Police Department.  Their final briefing is scheduled to take place at the City Rotunda Building, 200 Lincoln Avenue on June 26, 2014 at 7:30 am.  The public and media are invited to attend.

Sergeant Mark Babione was hired by the Salinas Police Department on September 15, 1980.  He worked as a patrol officer 8 years before becoming a Motor Officer assigned to the Traffic Unit of the Salinas Police Department 1988.  Mark was a Motor Officer for 5 years.  During that time he was an acting supervisor where he planned and supervised special events; Air Show, Rodeo, D.U.I. check points.  Mark was instrumental in creating and implementing tri-county law enforcement motorcycle training.  Mark formulated the departments Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Program.  He was an instructor for the First Offender D.U.I. Program and a Traffic Safety Instructor at Hartnell College.  Mark was a Hostage Negotiation Team Negotiator and a member of the Salinas Police Department Bike Patrol Unit for almost 20 years.

Mark worked as a School Resource Officer, a DARE (Drug Alcohol Resistance and Education) Instructor.  Mark became an acting Detective and worked in the Investigations Division.  In 1998 Mark was promoted to the Salinas Police Department Criminalist, assigned to supervise the Crime Scene Investigation unit.  Mark supervised 12 members of the CSI, 2 civilians, 1 Fingerprint technician, 1 Firearms examiner and a part time ballistics technician.  Mark was a CSI instructor at Hartnell College and the local Police Academies for several years and was a Salinas Police Department Range Master.

In 2009 Mark was promoted to Sergeant.  Mark worked in Patrol, supervised HNT, Range Master and was Deputy Platoon Commander of Mobile Field Force second platoon.  Mark obtained his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento.  He minored in Communications Studies.  Mark served as President of the Salinas Police Activities League (PAL), board member, coach, fund raiser and volunteer.  He was a board member of Children's Services Incorporated and a volunteer with the Women's Crisis Pregnancy Center, El Grito Festival and Salinas International Airshow.  Mark is also active in his church.  After 34 dedicated years with the Salinas Police Department Marks' official retirement date is June 29, 2014.

Sergeant Richard 'Rick” Soratos was hired by the Salinas Police Department on April 15, 1985.  He worked as a patrol officer 8 years before becoming a temporary Corporal in 1992.  Rick served as the Executive Director of the Salinas Police Activities League (PAL) for 4 years and was a California PAL Board member for 2 years.  Rick has received 2 Monterey County Peace Officer Awards of Merit.  Rick worked as a School Resource Officer, a G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education And Training) Instructor and was a Co-host on the Salinas Police Department television show 'Police Line.”  Rick has been a member of the Salinas Police Department Bike Patrol Unit for over 10 years.

Rick was promoted to Detective and worked for 2 years in the Investigations Division.  Rick promoted to the rank of Sergeant on September 28, 2003.  Rick was a Patrol Sergeant for 2 years before becoming the Special Operations Sergeant and a K9 supervisor.  In 2006, Rick obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

Rick has a long history of coaching youth tee ball, basketball and football in the City of Salinas.  He has coached the Salinas Colts and Broncos, was a varsity football coach at Alisal High School and is currently a varsity football coach at Salinas High School.  After 29 dedicated years with the Salinas Police Department Ricks' official retirement date is July 4, 2014.


Armed Robbery - Business

Release Date/Time: 6/24/2014 2:08 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery - Business

Report #: 14-061097

Date: Tuesday, 6/24/2014

Time: 12:20 PM

Location: 1423 North Main Street - Vitamin Store Health Center

The suspect; a white male, 40's, gray beanie, dark blue pants, gray long sleeve shirt with a white t-shirt entered the store to ask about vitamins. At one point the suspect demanded money from the clerk.  The suspect held his waistband as if he had a firearm. No gun was actually seen.  The suspect was last seen running southbound on North Main Street.  An undetermined amount of money was taken.  Investigation is continuing.

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Gang Enhancements, Probation Violation, etc...

Release Date/Time: 6/24/2014 1:49 PM

Incident: Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Gang Enhancements, Probation Violation, etc...

Report #: 14-061085

Date: Tuesday, 6/24/2014

Time: 8:34 AM

Location: Sherwood Drive and Rossi Street

A Salinas Police Officer observed a traffic violation in the area of Rossi Street and Sherwood Drive. The driver, a 19 year old Hispanic male, yielded on Sherwood Drive at the intersection with Cherry Street.  The right front passenger, Elijah Hernandez, 19, fled the vehicle holding his waistband.  The officer believed that he was in possession of a firearm.  After an extensive search he was taken into custody on California Street at Rossi Street.  2 separate firearms were located near where Hernandez was taken into custody.  Hernandez had been identified as being involved in a recent riot at Monterey County Jail where a deputy was injured.  He was booked into the Monterey County Jail for a variety of gang, gun charges and probation violation.

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Robbery and Negligent Discharge of Firearm

Release Date/Time: 6/16/2014 11:58 PM

Incident: Robbery and Negligent Discharge of Firearm

Report #: 14060730

Date: Monday, 6/16/2014

Time: 10:26 PM

Location: 1700 block of Cherokee Drive

Officers were dispatched to the above location regarding the victim of a shooting. The victim, a 16 year old male, sustained a minor laceration above his eye.  He and another subject were inside of a garage when two suspects, males with hoods, entered the garage in search of an item.  The victim was struck with the firearm causing the injury.  He was not shot.  Both suspects fled.  One of the suspects discharged a firearm randomly in the neighborhood.  No one was struck by the gunfire.  A vehicle and residence was hit with one of the rounds.  The victim was very uncooperative.  This was not a random act and the motivation is unclear. 

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Special Olympics Torch Run

On June 17th, 2014 the Salinas Police Department along with Monterey County Probation Department will participate in the annual Special Olympics Torch Run. Our mission is to increase awareness and raise funds for the Special Olympics movement.  The Salinas Police Department and Monterey County Probation Department will carry the torch from City Hall (200 Lincoln Avenue) throughout Old Town and finish the run in front of Gino's Restaurant (54 Monterey/Salinas Highway.)  The torch will make its way through the Monterey Peninsula as it is carried by the Monterey County Sheriffs Department, California Highway Patrol, Seaside Police Department and Marina Police Departments.

Sale of illegal Fireworks

Release Date/Time: 6/14/2014 5:07 PM

Incident: Sale of illegal Fireworks

Report #: 14-060635

Date: Saturday, 6/14/2014

Time: 11:30 AM

Location: Under 100 Block of Towt Street

Department of Justice Task Force Agents, comprised of Officers with the Salinas Police Department, Monterey County Sheriff's Office, and California Highway Parol, received information about an individual selling large quantities of illegal fireworks through Facebook. Contact was made with Daniel Escatel Alcocer (33), via Facebook and a deal was made to purchase the fireworks from his home on Towt Street. An undercover officer met Alcocer at his residence and Alcocer directed the officer to a large shed in the backyard where he had all the fireworks displayed. As soon as the deal took place, officers arrested Alcocer. The Fire Department was called in to assist and take possession of the fireworks. The fireworks consisted of small explosives as well as aerial fireworks. An extensive inventory of the fireworks was conducted and based on the price list Alcocer posted on Facebook, the fireworks were valued at approximately $20,000. The fireworks also weighed in at approximately 1800 pounds, making it a felony.

Alcocer was booked into the Monterey County Jail for several misdomeanor and felony sections related to possession and sales of illegal fireworks.

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Release Authorized by: Eulalio Villegas Jr.

Telephone: (831) 758-7250


Release Date/Time: 6/8/2014 7:53 PM

Incident: Homicide

Report #: 14-060473

Date: Sunday, 6/8/2014

Time: 11:08 AM

Location: N. Sanborn Rd. & Kilbreth Ave.

Officers were dispatched to the area for a victim of a shooting. When they arrived on scene, they found Daniel Castillo (18) lying in the roadway. He had been shot multiple times at close range.  Castillo was transported to Natividad Medical Center where he was later pronounced deceased.  Detectives are currently following up on some investigative leads.  We encourage anyone who may have information to contact Detective McKinley at 758-7145 or Detective Schwener at 7276.  Information can also be left on the Crime Tip Lines at 758-7133 and 775-4222. 

Release Authorized by: Sergeant Jeff Gibson

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 6/7/2014 2:06 AM

Incident: Attempted Homicide

Report #: 14-060327

Date: Friday, 6/6/2014

Time: 10:34 PM

Location: P/L of 918 Acosta Plaza

Officers were dispatched to 918 Acosta Plaza for a victim of a shooting. When they arrived, they found Abelardo Rodriguez (33), in the right front seat of a vehicle. He had been shot multiple times.  Rodriguez was transported to Natividad Medical Center.  At NMC, Rodriguez was stabilized and then life flighted in critical condition to a bay area hospital.  Detectives have minimal information at this time and are requesting that anyone with information, contact Detective Schwener at 758-7276 or Detective Currier at 758-7125.  Information can also be left on the Crime Tip Lines at 758-7133 or 775-4222 

Release Authorized by: Sergeant Jeff Gibson

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

Pre-paid Card Scam

Release Date/Time: 6/6/2014 8:12 PM

Incident: Pre-paid Card Scam

Report #: 12-060319

Date: Friday, 6/6/2014

Time: 4:14 PM


Early this morning the victim received a telephone call from a scammer, a person claiming to be an agent with the Internal Revenue Service. The scammer informed the victim that she had defaulted on IRS payments and that she owed the government money.  Over an 8 hour period, the victim loaded up to $950.00 on 19 separate "Reloadit" pre-paid cards.  Once the money was loaded on each card the victim provided the scammer the serial numbers to each card.  Once that information is provided to the scammer it can be cashed out or transferred to another pre-paid card making it more difficult to trace.  Similar scams have been successful throughout the country.  The phone numbers used today were: 888-235-4072 and 206-708-2849.  Both of these numbers have an internet history of being associated with fraud.  If you receive ANY request by someone that you do not know to use a MoneyPak, Reloadit or any other prepaid card(s) it should be considered a scam.  Contact your local police department if you have any question regarding whether or not the request for money from a stranger is valid.  The loss in today's incident was over $17,000.00.

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250