Press Releases


Release Date/Time: 7/5/2014 4:23 AM

Incident: Homicide

Report #: 14-070204

Date: Saturday, 7/5/2014

Time: 12:15 AM

Location: P/L of 312 Central Ave.

Maria Ceja (44) arrived home at approximately 0015 hours where it appears her boyfriend "Florencio" was waiting for her in the parking lot. There was an argument between Ceja and "Florencio" which culminated in "Florencio" stabbing Ceja in the chest. Ceja was taken to Natividad Medical Center where she died of her injuries.  "Florencio" was identified and seen running from the scene. "Florencio" had been dating Ceja for approximately one year. "Florencio's" last name and current whereabouts are unknown.  The Salinas Police Department is asking for anyone with information on identifying "Florencio" or knowledge of his current whereabouts to please call 911.  If you have information, you can also contact Detective Fors at 758-7124 or Detective Fairbanks at 758-7322. Information may also be left on the crime tip lines at 758-7133 or 775-4222. 

Release Authorized by: Sergeant Jeff Gibson

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

DUI Checkpoint

Release Date/Time: 7/4/2014 9:07 AM

Incident: DUI Checkpoint

Report #: 14-070166

Date: Friday, 7/4/2014

Time: 8:55 AM

Location: 300 Block Monterey Street

Last night a 5-hour DUI checkpoint was conducted on the 300 block of Monterey Street. 1,022 vehicles drove through the checkpoint and officers contacted 718 of those drivers. There were no DUI arrests. Nine drivers were cited for driving on a suspended license and 19 were cited for driving unlicensed. One driver was arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant and 10 drivers received citations for other hazardous violations. One of the drivers cited for driving on a suspended license had 5 prior DUI convictions. Sergeant Gerry Ross said he believes the checkpoint was a big success in spite of the fact that no DUI drivers were arrested. "The reason we do checkpoints is to promote public safety, deter drunk drivers, and educate the public on the dangers of drunk driving. We accomplished those goals." Salinas PD will be conducting several DUI patrols throughout the weekend. Sergeant Ross said the emphasis for the patrols will be to arrest DUI drivers. The checkpoint and the DUI patrols are funded by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Attempted Murder - Shooting

Release Date/Time: 7/3/2014 12:30 AM

Incident: Attempted Murder - Shooting

Report #: 14-070106

Date: Wednesday, 7/2/2014

Time: 9:31 PM

Location: 700 block of Holly Street

Officers responded to a shooting in the 700 block of Holly Street. They found a 15 year old victim.  The victim did not sustain a gunshot wound.  He told officers that he was sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle when two suspects walked up. One of the suspects, a Hispanic male, 21, 6-2, thin build with a black semi-atuomatic handgun shot at him multiple times. Officers located numerous bullet holes in the vehicle.  One of the rounds penetrated the victims hat. Both suspects fled on foot toward Rider Avenue. The victim claimed no gang affiliation but said some of his family associates with gangs.

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

CHP Hellicopter Assists Salinas Police in Arrest of Three for Burglary

Release Date/Time: 7/2/2014 5:30 PM

Incident: Attempted Burglary Arrest of Three in Salinas

Report #: 14-070074

Date: Wednesday, 7/2/2014

Time: 10:45 AM

Location: 200 block of Arguello Dr.

A teen female was home at her residence in the 200 block of Arguello Dr. when she heard what sounded like someone trying to enter the residence through a side window.  She hid somewhere inside the residence and contacted a family member via text message, who in turn called police.  Officers were able to arrive soon afterwards and entered the residence to search for any possible suspects inside.  They found three males in the back yard as they were attempting to make entry into the house.  Upon seeing police, the three individuals fled the back yard by jumping over fences.  With the assistance of a CHP helicopter, officers were able to locate and arrest three suspects.  Justin Pleasont, 18, was booked into the Monterey County Jail.  Two 17 year old males were booked into Juvenile Hall.  All three suspects were charged with attempted burglary, resisting arrest, and conspiracy.  Pleasont was also charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors. 

Release Authorized by: Commander Henry Gomez

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Armed Robbery

Release Date/Time: 6/30/2014 2:01 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery

Report #: 14-061378

Date: Sunday, 6/29/2014

Time: 10:40 PM

Location: 212 Main (Prestige Boutique)

Officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Prestige Boutique located at 212 Main St. A lone suspect entered the closed business and brandished a gun, ordering the victims to empty their pockets. When the suspect turned away for a second, one of the victims lunged at the suspect and attempted to wrestle the gun away. While wrestling for the gun, a single shot discharged but no one struck. The victim then bit the suspects arm, prior to the suspect fleeing the scene.  A second victim fled on foot, running to the nearby Maya Cinemas, where she then contacted police.

The suspect was described as an unknown race male, approximately 5'9” tall wearing a white t-shirt and a dark ski mask covering his face.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Salinas Police Department at 758-7496.


Release Authorized by: James Arensdorf

Telephone: (831) 758-7496

Attempted Murder-Shooting

Release Date/Time: 6/29/2014 10:13 AM

Incident: Attempted Murder-Shooting

Report #: 14-061335

Date: Sunday, 6/29/2014

Time: 1:32 AM

Location: 40 Block of N. Hebbron

On 6/29/14 at 1:32am, officers were dispatched to a shooting in the 40 block of North Hebbron with a male down. Officers arrived and made contact with  a 35-year old Hispanic male victim who had been shot in the back multiple times. The victim was with a female friend in front of an apartment when shots were fired from a dark colored pick-up. The victim fell in the driveway next to the apartment. The suspect(s) fired from the right front passenger side of the vehicle. The suspects said nothing prior to the shooting and the victim said he has no problems with anyone. The victim has no gang contacts with Salinas PD. He was flown to San Jose trauma center as a precaution but the injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. Police are asking anyone with information to call the watch commander.

Release Authorized by: Sheldon Bryan

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

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