Press Releases

Cinco de Mayo Avoid DUI enforcement

Release Date/Time: 5/4/2015 9:31 AM

Incident: Cinco de Mayo Avoid DUI enforcement

Report #: N/A

Date: Monday, 5/4/2015

Time: 9:30 AM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

Cinco de Mayo: Fiesta Time or Jail Time? Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo – like St. Patrick's Day – is for many people an occasion for having a good time with alcohol. Do you plan to join the fiesta on May 5th? The Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force has planned special DUI Saturations Patrols to deploy in several cities within Monterey and San Benito counties looking to identify and stop suspected drunk drivers. Additionally, every traffic and patrol officer assigned to duty will be on heightened alert to prevent a senseless tragedy due to alcohol or drugs.

The unfortunate truth is this: many people might be making party plans for Cinco de Mayo, but they aren't planning ahead for getting home. Only 64 percent of the drivers in fatal crashes on Cinco de Mayo weekend in 2013 had no alcohol in their systems. What about the other 36 percent? They were driving after drinking. Too many people are lying to themselves about the dangers of drinking and driving. Some fiesta-goers think that they can play it by ear, and wait until after they drink to decide whether they're 'okay to drive.” By then, it's too late. 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. Mixing medication or drugs - legal or illegal - is a dangerous cocktail. Specially trained drug recognition experts will be checking for drug impairment whenever suspected.

If you don't designate a sober driver ahead of time or have a solid plan for how you'll get home safely, you are setting yourself up for disaster. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, and when you drive drunk, you run the risk of killing yourself or someone else. Even if you don't harm anyone, the average DUI costs about $10,000. Wouldn't you rather pay for a taxi?

'Our main goal is to save lives,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross. 'Many people think it's OK to drink until they start to feel the effects and then get behind the wheel. This is not OK. Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.” Cinco de Mayo can be a fun and festive time for those who choose to celebrate the right way: with a plan for a sober ride. If you make your plans when you're sober, you won't make a bad decision when you're drunk.

As you make your Cinco de Mayo plans, the California Office of Traffic Safety is offering a free mobile app – DDVIP – aimed at thanking the sober designated driver with perks and free offers at area bars and restaurants. And for those without a DD - make a sober ride home your priority; the new SaferRide app from NHTSA makes it easier than ever. A final statistic to remember: drunk-driving deaths are 100 percent preventable.

The Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The next county wide DUI task force deployment will be for the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, May 23rd - 26th. Remember, Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. Don't do it.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Salinas Police to observe Denim Day April 29 in support of the Rape Crisis Center

Release Date/Time: 4/27/2015 5:30 PM

Incident: Salinas Police to observe Denim Day April 29 in support of the Rape Crisis Center

Date: Monday, 4/27/2015

Time: 5:30 PM

Location: Salinas, CA

Release Authorized by: Spencer Critchley, Acting PIO

Telephone: (831) 998-3000

Salinas Police officers and staff are being invited to wear denim jeans on Wednesday, April 29, in support of the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center and its observance of Denim Day.

Denim Day was established as a global response to the blaming of rape victims for their assaults, following a 1999 Italian Supreme Court decision to overturn a 1992 rape conviction because the victim had been wearing tight jeans. The day after that decision, female members of the Italian Parliament wore jeans in protest. Members of the California Senate and Assembly showed their support, and the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (Now Peace Over Violence) established Denim Day as a widely observed annual event.

Salinas Police Department employees who plan to wear jeans on Wednesday have been asked to explain the significance of the choice to anyone who asks about it.

At the Denim Day website, organizers provide resources and information, including corrections to common misconceptions about rape, such as "Women ask to be raped because of the way they dress or act:"

This attitude holds survivors of sexual assault accountable for the violence perpetrated against them. No one asks or deserves to be raped. Rape does not happen in response to provocative clothing or behavior, rape happens because the perpetrator decides that his desires are more important than the victim's right to self determination. A life free from sexual violence is a basic human right that should be accorded to all members of our society.

More information about Denim Day is available at

More information about the Monterey County rape Crisis Center is at

Armed Robbery

Release Date/Time: 4/26/2015 9:29 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery

Date: Sunday, 4/26/2015

Time: 4:25 PM

Location: 1425 N Davis Rd (Jo-Ann's Fabrics)

A white male adult 35-45 years old wearing a green University of Hawaii sweatshirt (green with a  large "H" on the front) entered Jo-Ann's Fabrics on Davis Rd.  After grabbing a few small items he went to the clerk and brandished a semi auto handgun, demanding money.  After obtaining an undisclosed amount of cash, he fled the business in an unknown direction.  Anyone having information about the suspect is urged to call the Salinas Police Department at 758-7250 or the anonymous crime tip line at 775-4222. 


Release Authorized by: Stan Cooper, Commander

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Super Bowl DUI enforcement

Release Date/Time: 1/27/2015 2:57 PM

Incident: Super Bowl DUI enforcement

Report #: N/A

Date: Tuesday, 1/27/2015

Time: 2:54 PM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

The Super Bowl is America's most watched national sporting event. On Super Bowl Sunday, February 1, there will be lots of game day socializing that may include drinking. That's why the California Office of Traffic Safety and police, Sheriffs, the CHP are urging football fans to choose sides now: drinking OR driving. If you plan on drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, designate a sober driver to get you home safely.

The Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Driving impaired could result in injury or death for you or others on the road. The ‘Avoid the 20 – Monterey and San Benito Counties DUI Task Force' will be deploying Roving DUI Saturation Patrols during and following Sunday's Super Bowl matchup. Officers will deploy into communities where collision data reveals high incidents of DUI crashes and arrests.

According to data from NHTSA, in 2013 there were 867 people killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in California –29 percent of all crash fatalities in the state. A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, the legal limit. This February 1, don't become another tragic Super Bowl stat. 'Drunk driving is completely preventable,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross with the Salinas Police Department. 'All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it's a choice. Drink or drive—but never do both. This might be the most important choice you ever make.”

For those who plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it's a friend, relative, taxi, or public transportation. For those who plan to drive, refrain from any alcohol. Instead, enjoy the game with food and non-alcoholic drinks. Being a sober, designated driver is a key role on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life.

Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that reminds everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers! Call 9-1-1.' OTS is offering a free mobile app – DDVIP – aimed at thanking the sober designated driver with perks and free offers at area bars and restaurants. Available for iPhone and Android. Never let friends drive if they have had too much to drink. Stay connected with OTS via:,!/OTS_CA,

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Armed Robbery

Release Date/Time: 4/22/2015 11:32 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery

Report #: 15-041108

Date: Wednesday, 4/22/2015

Time: 11:09 PM

Location: 1684 N. Main St. - Party City

A male walked into Party City at 1684 N. Main St. and approached a cashier.  He displayed a handgun and demanded money.  The suspect was described as a white male in his 40s, 6'1", 230 lbs., with a red beard.  After taking an undisclosed sum of money and candy, he fled the store.  There is no further information at this time.

Release Authorized by: Commander Henry Gomez

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Undercover Prostitution Operation

The Salinas Police Department responded to complaints from citizens regarding prostitution in the area of E. Market Street and Kern St. Members of the Violent Suppression Unit and patrol officers worked in an undercover capacity to monitor and arrest prostitutes who were contacting vehicles driving through the area. Three women were arrested for prostitution after offering sex for money to undercover police officers. Chancee Lewis(18), Julie Ramos(48) and Michelle Garcia(47) were arrested and processed on Saturday evening.

20001(a) VC

Release Date/Time: 4/17/2015 9:52 AM

Incident: Hit and Run with Injury

Report #: 15-040773

Date: Thursday, 4/16/2015

Time: 9:10 PM

Location: E. Laurel & St. Edwards

A Salinas Police Officer on routine patrol was driving on E. Laurel Drive near St. Edwards when he came upon a pedestrian in the roadway surrounded by passing motorists. The victim, a 22-year-old Hispanic Male, was in the #2 eastbound lane and had been walking northbound trying to cross E. Laurel. Witnesses told the officer that the victim was struck by a Jeep Cherokee, which continued eastbound. The victim was transported to Natividad Medical Center Truama Unit where it was learned he had bleeding to his brain, a broken left leg, and a collapsed lung. He is currently in the Intensive Care Unit in serious but stable condition.

About half an hour later, the Cherokee returned to the scene and the driver contacted officers. The 39-year-old Hispanic driver said he was driving on E. Laurel when he noticed in his rear view mirror that several vehicles were stopping. He said he was unaware he struck the victim until arriving home and noticing his right front headlight was broken. Overall the Jeep sustained minor damage. The driver said his wife has a heart condition, so he had to calm her down before returning to the collision scene. He did not appear to be under the influence, was valid to drive, had insurance, and voluntarily gave a blood sample. His vehicle was impounded for evidence. This case will be forwarded to Traffic Unit for additional follow up. The Traffic Unit will examine the case to determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant an arrest of the driver.

Release Authorized by: Gerard D Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7975

Update on fatal traffic collision

Release Date/Time: 4/17/2015 8:30 AM

Incident: Update on fatal traffic collision

Report #: 15-031369

Date: Friday, 4/17/2015

Time: 8:09 AM

Location: East Market Street and Kern Street

On March 26th at about 1409 hours, Rogelio Vasquez, 33, was riding his bicycle eastbound on East Market Street just east of Kern Street. He was riding on the south sidewalk when Anthony Martinez made a right turn in front of Vasquez into the driveway of the Shell gas station . Vasquez went down to the pavement and was run over by the rear tires of the truck. He sustained major internal injuries and died from the collision.

The investigation showed that Vasquez, the bicyclist, had a high level of methamphetamine in his system. His bicycle was examined and found to have no functioning brakes whatsoever. The bicycle had no damage from the collision showing that Vasquez was forced to lay the bike down to try and avoid the collision. He then slid underneath the truck where he was run over. The Salinas Police Department Traffic Unit found Vasquez most responsible for the collision for driving under the influence of methamphetamine and not having functioning brakes on the bicycle. The traffic officers did not feel there was sufficient culpability on the part of Martinez to request criminal charges.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Attempted Murder - Stabbing

Release Date/Time: 4/17/2015 12:24 AM

Incident: Attempted Murder - Stabbing

Report #: 15-040775

Date: Thursday, 4/16/2015

Time: 9:55 PM

Location: 110 Salinas St. - Transit Center

Officers were called to the transit center at 110 Salinas St. for a report of a stabbing victim.  They found a 32 year old male with multiple stab wounds on his back. The victim stated he had been stabbed in the Chinatown area and did not provide any additional details. He was transported to the hospital for treatment. At this time, it does not appear his injuries are life-threatening. There is no further suspect or location information at this time.

Release Authorized by: Commander Henry Gomez

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Suspicious Circumstance - Potential Scam Notification

The City of Salinas Permit Center personnel has received a couple of complaints regarding a suspicious person claiming to be an inspector with the City of Salinas and/or the County of Monterey.  There is a possibility that this may be an attempt at some sort of scam or to gain entry into a residence.  The City of Salinas Inspectors drive vehicles with the City Logo and have City of Salinas Identification.  If you are unsure if the individual is legitimate call the Salinas City Permit Center @ 758-7251 and/or the Salinas Police Department.


Question of the Day

Does the law say what kind of noise can be made at different times and in different places?
The Salinas Municipal Code  contains noise ordinances that regulate certain kinds of noise.

Generally, noise is divided into four "classes".

• Class A Noise is defined as noise created by equipment operated in the public interest or for emergency or safety purposes. Such equipment includes sirens, street sweepers, garbage trucks, chipper machines, etc. Class A noise is allowed at anytime.

• Class B Noise is defined as noise...

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