Press Releases

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving: Take a Sober Ride Home This Holiday Season

Release Date/Time: 12/12/2019 9:47 AM
Incident:Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving: Take a Sober Ride Home This Holiday Season
Date: Holiday Season
Location:City of Salinas

Salinas Police Department is reminding everyone who plans to drink to plan on getting a sober ride home. This holiday season, and every day, the safest way to drive is when you are sober.To help people get to holiday parties and seasonal travel destinations safely, Salinas Police Department will have extra officers on patrol during the holidays looking for drivers who are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The enforcement efforts are part of a national enforcement campaign to discourage impaired driving. 'We want everyone to enjoy the holidays and being responsible plays a major part in that,” said Public Information Officer, Miguel Cabrera said. 'The danger is clear so before you head out for a party, make sure you have a safe way to get home.”

Alcohol is not the only thing that affects your driving ability. Prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and marijuana can also impair, especially in combination with alcohol and other drugs. So, if you plan on drinking or taking drugs that can impair, play it safe and have a designated sober driver.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Officer Involved Shooting

Release Date/Time: 12/12/2019 1:28 AM
Incident: Officer Involved Shooting
Date: Thursday, 12/12/2019
Time: 1:28 AM
Location: Old Stage Rd

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Brian Johnson
Telephone: 831-758-7280

On 12/11/19, at 8:24 PM, the Salinas Police Department was involved in a vehicle pursuit of a man suspected of committing a recent attempted murder. During the pursuit the suspect fired a gun at officers.The pursuit continued outside the Salinas city limits near Old Stage Road. When the suspect vehicle stopped, the driver again opened fire at officers.  Several officers returned fire and struck the suspect.  Suspect was transported to a medical facility and is in critical condition.

The District Attorney's office is conducting the investigation concerning the shooting.

Anyone with information, or questions related to the investigation, is encouraged to call the Monterey County District Attorney's Office at (831) 755-5070

Salinas Police Awarded Traffic Education and Enforcement Grant From the OTS

Release Date/Time: 12/11/2019 1:23 PM
Incident:Salinas Police Awarded Traffic Education and Enforcement Grant From the OTS
Date: Wednesday, 12/11/2019
Time: 1:23 PM
Location:City of Salinas

                                                                                        Salinas Police Awarded Traffic Education and Enforcement Grant From the OTS

The Salinas Police Department received a $120,000.00 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a one-year enforcement and education program. The money will fund various activities intended to reduce deaths and injuries on California roads.'The money provided by this grant will greatly benefit our community. It will allow us to conduct more traffic enforcement and make the City of Salinas a safer place,” said Traffic Sergeant Robert Hampson. The grant-related activities are for the 2020 federal fiscal year, which runs from now until Sept. 30, 2020.

The funding from the OTS will be used for numerous programs, including:

          DUI/driver's license checkpoints.

          Patrols specifically looking for suspected alcohol and/or drug-impaired drivers.

          Patrols targeting violations of California's hands-free cell phone law and vehicle code violations by drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians that put other roadway users at risk.

          Patrols targeting the primary causes of crashes: Speeding, improper turns, running stop signs or signals, right-of-way violations and driving on the wrong side of the road.

       Patrols specifically looking for seat belt and child safety seat violations.

       Traffic safety education presentations for youth and community members on distracted and impaired driving, bicycle and pedestrian safety.

       Creating 'Hot Sheets” identifying repeat DUI offenders.

       Officer training to identify suspected impaired drivers and conduct sobriety tests.

'Getting in a vehicle remains one of the most dangerous things we do,” OTS director Barbara Rooney said. 'We must continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to shift that realization and make traveling on our roads safer.”

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Hit and Run with Serious Injury/Death

Release Date/Time: 12/12/2019 1:45 PM
Incident:Hit and Run with Serious Injury/Death
Date: Sunday, 12/8/2019
Time: 11:06 pm
Location:John St at Work St. near Railroad Tracks

On Sunday 12-8-2019 at approximately 11pm, a Salinas PD officer responding to an unrelated call for service noticed a female victim, later identified as Channey Ayala (45), and her dog lying in the roadway in the area of John St.at Work St. near the railroad tracks.

It appeared Ayala and her dog may have been crossing the roadway when they were struck by an unknown vehicle which did not stop. Ayala was transported to Natividad Medical Center with serious injuries and listed in critical condition, her dog died on scene.

Today, Salinas PD learned Ayala had died as a result of the injuries she suffered in this collision.

Salinas Police Department encourages anyone with information related to this incident to contact investigating officer Seth Morten at [email protected] or at 831 758-7017

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call our Tip Line at 831 775-4222

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Sexual Assault of a Juvenile, Parole Violation

Release Date/Time: 12/6/2019 12:44 PM
Incident: Sexual Assault of a Juvenile, Parole Violation
Date: Wednesday, 12/4/2019
Time: 6:15 PM
Location:  900 Block of South Main Street

Release Authorized by:  Sergeant Danny Warner
Telephone:  831-758-7128

On December 4, 2019, at approximately 6:15 pm, the 9-year-old victim, who has special needs, was eating dinner with his family in the 900 block of South Main Street. The victim asked his mother if he could go to the bathroom by himself because he is normally accompanied but likes to be independent. Since it was a very short distance away, his mother agreed.  The victim returned from the restroom and informed his parents he had just been sexually assaulted.  The suspect, 40-year-old James Torfason, exited the bathroom and went straight to his vehicle.  The victim's father followed the suspect and called 911.  Officers quickly responded, stopped the suspect and took him into custody.  A record check revealed Mr. Torfason was on parole for a prior sexual assault of a juvenile.  He was booked into Monterey County Jail.

If anyone has information regarding this sexual assault, please contact Detective John McNeil at (831) 758-7277; or email him at [email protected]. If you would like to remain anonymous, please call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at (831) 775-4222.

Automated Red-Light Camera Program is Live as of December 1.

Release Date/Time: 12/2/2019 9:49 AM
Incident:   Automated Red-Light Camera Program is Live as of December 1.
Date: Monday, 12/2/2019
Time: 9:49 AM
Location: City of Salinas

                                                                                                 Automated Red-Light Camera Program is Live as of December 1.

Salinas Police Department would like to inform the public that the Automated Red-Light Camera Enforcement program is finally completed and operational. This program hopes to improve public safety through increased enforcement of red-light laws and increased public awareness of the dangers of red light running.

Automated Red-Light Enforcement cameras have been installed and tested at several locations in the City of Salinas. Technicians have tested the equipment, including cameras and strobe flashes. The cameras are now operational, the thirty-day warning period has ended. Enforcement began on December 1, 2019 when the system went live. Red Light Cameras are located at N. Main St./Boronda Rd, N. Main St/Laurel Dr., Sanborn Rd./Laurel Dr. and Davis Rd./Laurel Dr.

The objective of the program is to change driver behavior, making the community safer as more drivers obey the traffic signals and stop on red. The City of Salinas and Salinas PD urge the community to pay attention while driving. Slow down, stop on red. When drinking, be responsible and use a designated driver. In addition, always buckle up and be cautious on our roads. Slow down and drive safely!

Release Authorized by: Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Buckle Up, Salinas. Every Trip, Every Time.

Release Date/Time: 11/25/2019 9:49 AM
Incident:Buckle Up, Salinas. Every Trip, Every Time.
Date: Thursday, 11/28/2019
Location:City of Salinas

                                                                                                                  Buckle Up, Salinas. Every Trip, Every Time.

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year. Millions across the country will be hitting the road to meet with friends and family for Thanksgiving.It is why Salinas Police Department is reminding everyone to wear their seat belt for every trip, regardless of how far you are traveling.

On Thanksgiving Day Salinas Police Department will have additional officers on patrol looking for drivers and passengers who do not have a seat belt on, including children who are not secured in the correct child safety seat.

'We want everyone to get to where they are going on Thanksgiving safely,” Public Information Officer, Miguel Cabrera said. 'Putting on a seat belt only takes a few seconds and is the best way to put you out of harm's way.”

While 90% of front seat passengers were observed using seatbelts nationwide, the observed seat belt rate of back seat passengers was just 76 percent, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. No matter where you are in a vehicle, you should be buckled up.

In California, the fine for a seat belt violation is $162. The fine for not securing a child in a child safety seat is $490. Under California law, children under two years old who weigh under 40 pounds and are under 40 inches tall must ride in a rear-facing car seat. Children under the age of eight or under 4' 9” tall must be secured in a car or booster seat.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Homicide - Stabbing

Release Date/Time: 11/19/2019 5:21 PM
Incident:Homicide - Stabbing
Date: Tuesday, 11/19/2019
Time: 9:32 AM
Location: Clay Street and Cayuga Street

On 11/19/19, at 9:32 AM, the Salinas Police Department investigated a stabbing that occurred at Clay Street and Cayuga Street. The victim, 26-year-old Mariana Jurado, was leaving her home heading to work when she was attacked outside her home and stabbed by 43-year-old Garrett Scheff. Jurado did not know Scheff, and by all accounts this was a random act of violence. Jurado was taken to a local hospital by ambulance; however, she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased a short time later.   

Scheff was captured and arrested a block from the scene. The case is being investigated as a homicide. Scheff was booked into Monterey County Jail on one count of murder.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information on the incident to call Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137 or email him at [email protected] . If you would like to remain anonymous, call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray
Telephone: (831) 758-7350

Stabbing

Release Date/Time: 11/19/2019 1:29 PM
Incident: Stabbing
Date: Tuesday, 11/19/2019
Time: 1:29 PM
Location: Clay Street and Cayuga Street

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Brian Johnson
Telephone: 831-758-7280

 

 

On 11/19/19, at 9:32 AM, the Salinas Police Department is investigating a stabbing that occurred at Clay Street and Cayuga Street.  The suspect has been apprehended and there is no risk to the community.  The case is still being investigated and there will be more information later today.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information on the incident to call Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137 or email him at [email protected] . If you would like to remain anonymous, call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222.

Officer Involved Shooting

Release Date/Time: 11/19/2019 1:22 PM
Incident: Officer Involved Shooting
Date: Tuesday, 11/19/2019
Time: 1:22 PM
Location: Near Sanborn Place

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Brian Johnson
Telephone: 831-758-7280

 

On 11/19/19, at 01:59 AM, a Salinas Police Department officer fired one shot during an incident near Sanborn Place. When apprehended, the suspect had a laceration. The cause of the wound is undetermined at this time. 

The District Attorney's office is conducting the investigation concerning the shooting.

Anyone with information, or questions related to the investigation, is encouraged to call the Monterey County District Attorney's Office at (831) 755-5070

Pages

Question of the Day

Find our Fact Sheet here for information about the June 5, 2015 arrest of Jose Velasco.

Español: aquí.

Our Latest News via Twitter