Press Releases

Armed Robbery

Release Date/Time: 11/2/2016 7:15 AM

Incident: Armed Robbery

Report #: 16-110085

Date: Wednesday, 11/2/2016

Time: 2:20 AM

Location: 1375 N. Davis Rd.

Two suspects armed with black semi-automatic handguns entered the Walmart on N. Davis Rd.  The suspects ordered several employees and customers to lay the ground. They forced an employee to open a safe at gunpoint and fled in an SUV with an undisclosed amount of money.

Release Authorized by: Robert Hampson III

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Attempted Murder - Shooting

Release Date/Time: 10/31/2016 11:59 PM

Incident: Attempted Murder - Shooting

Report #: 16-101659

Date: Monday, 10/31/2016

Time: 8:48 PM

Location: Rear of 900 Block of Acosta Plaza

A 28 year old Hispanic Male was by himself behind the 900 block of Acosta Plaza.  He was approached by a suspect who shot him several times in the lower portion of his body.  He was transported to Natividad Medical Center were he underwent surgery and is expected to survive.  There is no indication that this is gang related.  Several residents in the area reported hearing several shots being fired in the area. 

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Update to Vehicular Manslaughter

Release Date/Time: 10/26/2016 5:20 PM

Incident: Update to Vehicular Manslaughter

Report #: 16-101308

Date: Wednesday, 10/26/2016

Time: 5:11 PM

Location: North Main Street and Harden Parkway

The name of the suspect released yesterday was incorrect. The suspect who was driving the motorcycle is Andrew Lynn Bennett, age 28. Bennett is from Oregon but moved to Salinas in January.

Bennett was just released from NMC and booked into the Monterey County Jail for 192(c) PC - Vehicular Manslaughter, 23103(a) VC - Reckless Driving, 23104(a) VC - Reckless Driving Causing Death, 12500(a) VC - Unlicensed Driver, 20001(a) Hit and Run with Death, and 16028(c) VC - No proof of Insurance.

The victim was Gabriela Baes, age 17, of Salinas. She was a student at El Puente High School.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Vehicular Manslaughter

Release Date/Time: 10/25/2016 5:57 PM

Incident: Vehicular Manslaughter

Report #: 16-101308

Date: Tuesday, 10/25/2016

Time: 10:46 AM

Location: North Main Street / Harden Parkway

A 17-year-old girl was walking across North Main Street, westbound in the north crosswalk, toward the Northridge Mall with her cousin. Anthony Bennett, 29, was riding a Suzuki motorcycle northbound in the #3 lane. Witnesses said Bennett was driving at a high rate of speed (some witnesses said around 90 mph) when he ran the red light and struck the girl. The motorcycle went down and slid a long distance before coming to a stop. The victim broke several bones on the left side of her body before striking her head on the pavement. She was transported to NMC and was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Bennett got up and began walking away from the collision. A couple of citizens grabbed on to him until police arrived. Bennett was transported to NMC where he was treated for numerous bumps and bruises and a possible concussion. Bennett was found to be unlicensed in California with a suspended license in Oregon. Another SPD officer saw him driving recklessly last week in a car. Bennett was cited and the car was impounded for 30-days.

Upon release from NMC, Bennett will be booked for 192(c) PC - Vehicular Manslaughter, 20001(a) VC - Hit and Run with Death, 12500(a) VC - Unlicensed Driver, 23103(a) VC, Reckless Driving, 23104(a) VC - Reckless Driving Causing Injury, and 16028(c) VC - No Insurance at Scene of Collision.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Possession of Concealed Firarm/ Marijuana Sales

Release Date/Time: 10/22/2016 9:23 PM

Incident: Possession of a Concealed Firearm/ Marijuana - Possession for Sales

Report #: 16 10 1171

Date: Saturday, 10/22/2016

Time: 6:48 PM

Location: N. Main St. / Alvin Dr.

Violence Suppression Unit officers arrest a man with a gun on a traffic stop.

VSU contacted Ramon Santos (19), on a traffic stop. An officer conducted a search and located a loaded .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol in Santos' boxer shorts concealed in his crotch area. A search of the vehicle revealed just under an ounce of marijuana, an unused baggie, scales, and an amount of cash in assorted bills. The two 17-year-old juveniles in the vehicle, were ultimately released. Santos was booked into County Jail for possession of a concealed weapon and marijuana sales.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Salinas Police Department at (831) 758-7321. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can call the Salinas Police Department Tip Line at (831) 775-4222, or the We-Tip Line at 1-800-78 CRIME, or text information to the Text to the Text Tip Line with the code "SPD831" to "847411".

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Grant for Traffic Enforcement

Release Date/Time: 10/19/2016 12:06 PM

Incident: Grant for Traffic Enforcement

Report #: N/A

Date: Wednesday, 10/19/2016

Time: 1:09 AM

Location: Salinas

THE SALINAS POLICE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES GRANT FOR SPECIAL TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT AND CRASH PREVENTION

The Salinas Police Department has been awarded a $105,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries. The Salinas Police Department will use the funding as part of the city's ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.

'This grant will no doubt prevent death and injury in Salinas,” said Traffic Sergeant Gerry Ross. 'This money provides us with the resources to keep working toward our goal of zero traffic deaths.”

After falling to a ten-year low in 2010, the number of persons killed has climbed nearly 17% across the state with 3,176 killed in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Particularly alarming is the six year rise in pedestrian and bicycle fatalities, along with the growing dangers of distracting technologies, and the emergence of drug-impaired driving as a major problem. This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other devastating problems such as drunk driving, speeding and crashes at intersections.

'Years of research tell us that enforcement and education work best jointly to combat unsafe driving,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. 'This grant brings both tactics together, with the Office of Traffic Safety and the Salinas Police Department working in concert to help keep the streets and highways safe across Salinas and the state.”

Activities that the grant will fund include:

• Educational presentations

• DUI checkpoints

• DUI saturation patrols

• Bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement

• Motorcycle safety enforcement

• Distracted driving enforcement

• Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement

• Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders

Compilation of DUI 'Hot Sheets,” identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders

• Specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE)

• Court 'sting” operations to cite individuals driving from DUI court after ignoring their license suspension or revocation Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Possession of A Firearm/ Drug Sales

Release Date/Time: 10/15/2016 11:56 PM

Incident: Possession of A Firearm/ Drug Sales

Report #: 1610 0821

Date: Saturday, 10/15/2016

Time: 9:29 PM

Location: Market St. / Eucalyptus Dr.

An officer made a stop for a minor traffic violation at Market and Eucalyptus Drive that led to the seizure of a gun and drugs. The driver, Fausto Arellano (20), right front passenger Michael Serrano (20), and the back seat passenger a 17-year-old, were removed from the vehicle without incident. Officers conducted a search of the vehicle and located a .40 caliber semi-auto, ammunition, and approximately 2.4 grams of cocaine and 25 grams of methamphetamine. Arellano was booked into county jail for possession of the firearm and possession of a controlled substance for sales. Serrano was on probation with gang terms and was also booked into County Jail. The juvenile was released to his mother.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Salinas Police Department at (831) 758-7321. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can call the Salinas Police Department Tip Line at (831) 775-4222, or the We-Tip Line at 1-800-78 CRIME, or text information to the Text to the Text Tip Line with the code "SPD831" to "847411".

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Arrest - Armed Robbery, Felony evading, Conspiracy, Violent Ex-Felon with a firearm

A 25-year-old woman was robbed at gun point in her hotel room.  The woman, and a friend were staying in Salinas at a hotel on De La Torre. The woman was alone in the room when someone knocked on the door. She opened the door and a man with a semi-automatic handgun ordered her into the room. She was robbed at gun point of her phone, iPad, and a ring. The suspect told her he had killed a police officer before and he would kill her if she tried to follow him out. The victim later saw the suspect in another area of town and called the police. Officers attempted a traffic stop at northbound 101 at Sala Road.  The vehicle refused to stop and a vehicle pursuit ensued. The pursuit continued all the way into and through Hollister and was passed off to CHP units. The suspect vehicle driver lost control near Casa de Fruta and the pursuit ended in a solo vehicle collision. It was later determined there were two other occupants in the vehicle with the driver of the pursued vehicle. The suspects were taken into custody without further incident and returned to Salinas. No one was injured during the collision. The suspect driver was identified as Daniel Ramos, 24, of Gilroy was booked into Monterey County Jail for felony evading, robbery and conspiracy.  Richard Sanchez, 47, of San Jose was booked into Monterey County Jail for robbery, conspiracy, being a violent ex-felon in possession of a firearm and other weapons charges.  The third occupant of the vehicle was an adult female who was later released without charges.

 

Release Authorized by: Dana Cornelison

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Pursuit of Marina Burglary Suspect

Release Date/Time: 10/10/2016 7:23 PM

Incident: Pursuit of Marina Burglary Suspect

Report #: 16 10 0528

Date: Monday, 10/10/2016

Time: 4:32 PM

Location: Coleridge Dr./ Star Shopping Center

Officers assisted Marina PD this morning following a vehicle pursuit and foot chase that ended on Coleridge Drive. The pursuit originated in Marina when the suspect fled the scene of a vehicle burglary in a stolen truck. Salinas Officers, Marian PD, and Sheriff's Deputies established a perimeter in the Los Olivos neighborhood and conducted a search for the suspect, however, the suspect avoided capture.

At approximately 4:30 PM, officers responded to a call on Coleridge Drive from a resident who saw a man jumping over a neighbor's fence. The man matched the description of the suspect from earlier in the day. A second call came in from resident on Dickens Drive reporting a man jumped his fence and tried take a bicycle from the yard. As officers conducted a search of the area plain clothes detectives saw a man matching the description of the suspect walking near Star Shopping Center on S. Main Street. A uniform sergeant attempted to contact the man and a foot chase ensued. The suspect ran through the shopping center and in the back door and through an open beauty salon with the officer in pursuit. He then ran into O'Reilly Automotive and toward the back of the store where the officer unsuccessfully attempted to tase him. The suspect ran out of the back door and was confronted by additional officers. One of the officers successfully tased the suspect and he was taken into custody.

Evan Smith-Sweeney (07-08-85), was identified as the suspect from the Marina PD pursuit and was turned over to Marina officers. It appears he had been hiding in the area all day. Smith-Sweeney was later booked into County Jail.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

2nd Attempt at suicide by cop.

Release Date/Time: 10/10/2016 8:45 AM

Incident: 2nd Attempt at suicide by cop.

Report #: 16 10 0473

Date: Sunday, 10/9/2016

Time: 6:55 PM

Location: East Sub Station, N. Sanborn / Del Monte

On October 8, 2016, Roberto Torres Acosta (31), approached a Salinas Police officer and attempted to provoke the officer into shooting him by taking a shooting stance and pointing a cell phone at him simulating a firearm. He was placed on a mental health hold for treatment but he was released just hours later.

 

On October 9, 2016 at approximately 6:55PM, a different Salinas Police officer was sitting inside his parked patrol car outside the Eastside Police Substation. Roberto Acosta approached the officer, concealed his hand behind his back and took a crouched stance. The officer challenged him at gunpoint and Acosta placed his hand inside his jacket, moving it as if manipulating something while crouching in an aggressive stance and telling the officer to shoot him. Acosta did not heed commands and suddenly drew his hand from his jacket, took a shooting stance, and presented his hands toward the officer as if pointing a firearm. Fortunately, this occurred in a well-lit area because at the last second, the officer saw that Acosta was unarmed. Acosta continued to demand that he be shot. He was taken into custody and placed under arrest. Acosta was booked into County Jail for resisting arrest. Acosta told officers and jail staff that he will continue trying until an officer kills him.

Monterey County Behavioral Health was notified of the latest arrest and a plan is being developed for a long-term solution to this issue.

Release Authorized by: Commander Sheldon Bryan

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

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Question of the Day

Can I drink alcohol while walking down a City street in Salinas?

No, it is illegal to drink any beverage that contains alcohol while on public property. The Salinas Municipal Code Section (21-2)  states that, "No person shall drink any beer, wine or other intoxicating beverage on any public street, sidewalk, alley, highway, plaza parkway, parking lot, airport terminal, or bus or train depot in the City...

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