Press Releases

Arrests for possession of heroin and other drugs, outstanding warrants

Release Date/Time: 6/6/2017 9:31 PM
Incident: Arrests for possession of heroin and other drugs, outstanding warrants
Report #: 17-060287
Date: Tuesday, 6/6/2017
Time: 12:08 PM
Location:100 Block of Monterey Street

Members of Violence Suppression Unit, CHP and Parole arrested a man on the 100 block of Monterey Street for $185,000 in warrants. A CHP canine team alerted on a vehicle occupied by his companion and officers located 46 grams of heroin, 3.5 grams of methamphetamine, 10 hydrocodone pills, packaging materials and cash. Both men were booked into custody of the Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

Release Authorized by: George Lauricella
Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Attempted Murder - Shooting

Release Date/Time: 6/6/2017 11:52 PM
Incident: Attempted Murder - Shooting
Report #: 17-060309
Date: Tuesday, 6/6/2017
Time: 7:53 PM
Location:  500 block of Terrace Street

A 16 year old female was driving from a residence in the 500 block of Terrace Street when a gunman approached her vehicle.  He was described as a Hispanic male adult, 30-35 years of age, black sweatshirt and blue jeans carrying a semi-automatic handgun.  The suspect fired multiple times into the vehicle, striking the 16 year old victim once in the upper back.  The other two occupants in the vehicle were not injured.  No one in the vehicle had any gang affiliation but it is believed that the suspect was a gang member.  After she was shot, the victim drove to the 900 block of East Alisal Street where she called for the police.  Her wound was non-life threatening and treated at a local hospital.

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill
Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Memorial Day weekend DUI patrols

Release Date/Time: 5/24/2017 2:29 PM
Incident: Memorial Day weekend DUI patrols
Report #: N/A
Date: Wednesday, 5/24/2017
Time: 2:28 PM
Location: City of Salinas

The Memorial Day weekend is a great opportunity for families to get together to enjoy outdoor activities such as barbeques and picnics. High school seniors will be graduating over the next few days and the weekend will also be a great time to celebrate those accomplishments. Unfortunately, these activities and celebrations sometimes lead to people drinking alcohol or using drugs and then making the poor decision to get behind the wheel.

The Salinas Police Department will be doing everything in its power to prevent those poor decisions from becoming tragedies. The Department will be sending extra DUI officers out this holiday weekend for DUI saturation patrols. And remember, DUI doesn't just mean booze. Many of the officers have special training to help them detect when a driver is under the influence of drugs. It doesn't matter if the drug is an illegal drug, marijuana, or prescription medication; if you are under the influence, you are breaking the law and will be arrested.

'Some people believe drivers under the influence of marijuana driver slower,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross. 'This is not the case. Drivers under the influence of marijuana have a more difficult time focusing. They often drive too fast and don't even realize what they are doing.”

The Salinas Police Department is asking everyone to do their part:

• Plan ahead. Make sure you and your friends and family know how they will get home safely before the drinking starts. Do you have a sober driver? Are you going to get a taxi, Uber, Lyft, etc? Know ahead of time.

• Make a commitment to yourself not to drink or use drugs and drive, no matter what situation arises.

• Don't allow your friends and family to drink and drive.

• If you see dangerous driving, Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1!

Salinas PD is also still involved in the nationwide Click It or Ticket Campaign and will be looking to issue tickets to those who don't buckle up or don't secure their young passengers. Buckle Up!

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

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross
Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Swearing in of New Salinas Police Officers

The Salinas Police Department is pleased to announce the hiring of six new officers. Officer Nicholas Abruzzini, Officer Tommy Kor, Officer Ryan Keating, Officer Joe Alonzo, Officer Joseph Santiago, and Officer Sidhartha Raj graduated from the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium Police Academy at Coyote Creek in San Jose this morning. We will be hosting a swearing-in ceremony this afternoon at 5:00 pm in the Rotunda at City Hall.  

Homicide Victim Identification

Release Date/Time: 5/23/2017 9:10 AM
Incident: Homicide Victim Identification
Report #: 17-050660
Date: Tuesday, 5/23/2017
Time: 9:09 AM
Location: 100 Block of Paloma Ave.

On May 13, 2017, at approximately 10:47pm, there was a shooting in the 100 Block of Paloma Ave. The victim, 23-year-old Gabriel Hernandez Rangel, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Rangel had been visiting relatives in the area when unknown suspects confronted him in front of a residence. For unknown reasons, one or more suspects shot at Rangel, striking him several times. Stray bullets struck the residence as well, but no one inside the residence was injured. The suspects may have fled in a white, smaller SUV, which was last seen southbound on Tampa St.

The victim, a Salinas resident, does not have any history of being involved in gangs with the Salinas Police Department but this case is being investigated as gang related.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information about this homicide to contact Detective Dave Poulin at (831) 758-7270 or [email protected]; or Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137 or [email protected]. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222, or the We-Tip Line at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Release Authorized by: Christopher Lane, Investigations Sergeant
Telephone: (831) 758-7496

Traffic Collision update

Release Date/Time: 5/22/2017 3:51 PM

Incident: Traffic Collision update

Report #: 17-050876

Date: Monday, 5/22/2017

Time: 1:55 PM

Location: N. Main St. & Casentini St.

On 5/17/17 at 1425 hours, Joe Katzakian, 46, was pulling out of the driveway of the Valero Gas station just north of the intersection of N. Main St. and Casentini Street. He stopped in the driveway to check n/b traffic. Charles Lewis, 60, was riding his bicycle s/b on the east sidewalk (the wrong side of the street) of N. Main Street at a high rate of speed. When it was clear, Katzakian started to pull out of the parking lot when Lewis struck the car broadside with his bicycle.

There was a small amount of blood on the sidewalk and Lewis appeared to be in pain even though he denied it. Lewis was transported to NMC after paramedics convinced him to go. When officers arrived at the hospital, Lewis again denied that he had any injuries even though he still appeared to be in pain. Officer took an injury traffic report.

As it turns out, Lewis suffered very serious injuries. He is currently in ICU after suffering brain trauma, a broken spine, broken ribs, and a broken nose. The case is still under investigation.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Injury Collison vs Ped

Release Date/Time: 5/22/2017 3:39 PM

Incident: Injury Collison vs Ped

Report #: 17-051006

Date: Saturday, 5/20/2017

Time: 10:52 AM

Location: 1700 block Humboldt Drive

A three-year-old boy was walking with his mother from the house to their car when the boy suddenly ran into the street without looking. He ran directly in front of a Lincoln Navigator driven by Juvenal Serrato (35). Serrato saw the boy bolt in front of his vehicle but was not able to stop in time to avoid the collision. The victim sustained serious facial and head injuries and was flown to Oakland Children's Hospital. Serrato was cooperative. He was unlicensed but did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs and voluntarily submitted to a blood test. A home surveilance video shows the boy darting out into the street in front of the Navigator. Serrato was cited and released for being an unlicensed driver. 

The last update showed the victim had a broken collar bone and facial contusions. At this time he is expected to survive.

Release Authorized by: Gerard D Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7975

Felony Hit and Run involving a Death, Conspiracy, Accessory and Child Endangerment

Release Date/Time: 5/20/2017 11:57 PM

Incident: Felony Hit and Run involving a Death, Conspiracy, Accessory and Child Endangerment

Report #: 17-051019

Date: Saturday, 5/20/2017

Time: 6:56 PM

Location: North Main at the Railroad Overcrossing

A 61 year old male victim stepped off of the sidewalk on North Main Street under the railroad overcrossing near Chinatown.  He walked into the northbound lane of travel of a vehicle driven by Ruben Martinez, 25. The victim was in very critical condition immediately after the collison and was transported to Natividad Medical Center.  He was pronounced deceased at 7:17 pm.  Instead of stopping, Martinez drove away from the scene of the collision. He drove to a gas station located on the corner of East Alisal Street and Front Street where he pulled into the lot and switched seats with Guadalupe Mosso Gonzalez, 25. Gonzalez drove from the gas station onto East Alisal Street at Monterey Street where the vehicle was stopped by Salinas Police Officers.  After the collision, a witness followed the suspect vehicle for the entire route and also watched Martinez and Gonzalez switch seats. A 12 year old passenger in the suspect vehicle also witnessed the collision and was very affected emotionally. Neither Martinez nor Gonzalez were under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Both Martinez and Gonzalez were properly licensed and insured.  Both were booked into Monterey County Jail.  Martinez was booked for felony hit and run involving a death, conspiracy and child endangerment.  Gonzalez was booked for conspiracy, accessory and child endangerment.

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Search Warrant and Possesion for sales

Detectives and SWAT served a search warrant this morning on Bridge Street in Chinatown. 18-year-old Kris Purcell was arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine for sales. Detectives seized cash and packaging. The suspect was booked into County Jail.

Click It or Ticket Campaign

Release Date/Time: 5/18/2017 10:22 AM

Incident: Click It or Ticket Campaign

Report #: N/A

Date: Thursday, 5/18/2017

Time: 10:18 AM

Location: City of Salinas

As summer kicks off and families hit the road for vacations, the Salinas Police Department and the California Office of Traffic Safety is reminding motorists to Click It or Ticket. Aimed at enforcing seat belt use to help keep you and your family safe, the national seat belt campaign will take place May 22 through June 4, concurrent with one of the busiest travel and holiday weekends of the year.

Officers on patrol will be looking for unrestrained drivers and passengers to stop and cite. 'Salinas police officers see firsthand the tragedies caused when people refuse to buckle up,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross of the Salinas Police Department. 'It's an easy thing to do if you just make it a habit. Buckling up should be the first thing you do after sitting in the car.”

Memorial Day weekend is approaching and the summer vacation is season is ramping up. Historically there is an increase in traffic collisions this time of year. 'We want everyone to stay safe. The one thing you can do to save yourself and your passengers in a crash is to buckle up and make sure your passengers buckle up. There are still hundreds of thousands of Californians who don't heed the dangers of unrestrained driving. The goal of the campaign is to wake these people up and get them to buckle up.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of the 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained. During nighttime hours, that number soared to 57 percent of those killed. That's why one focus of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement.

Participating law enforcement agencies will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night. In Salinas, the ticket cost for an adult seat belt violation is $162, with penalties for not restraining a child at $465.

In 2015, 545 Californians where killed because they did not buckle their seat belts according to NHTSA. Nationally, almost twice as many males were killed in crashes as compared to females, with lower belt use rates, too. Of the males killed in crashes in 2015, more than half (52%) were unrestrained. For females killed in crashes, 42 percent were not buckled up.

'Please. We need you to help us spread this message before another friend or family member is killed or crippled as a result of this senseless inaction,” asked Sergeant Ross. 'Seat belts save lives, and everyone needs to remember to buckle up, every trip, every time.”

For more information on the Click It or Ticket mobilization, please visit

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250


Question of the Day

What should I do if I see a strange person or car loitering in my neighborhood?
Having residents report strange, suspicious or out of place activity their neighborhoods is essential to locating identifying and stopping criminal activity. There may be a reasonable and legal explanation for the person's presence and actions. However, if the person's actions are enough to raise your suspicion there is probably a good reason to take further action.

There are several things that you can do to help us in these cases. The most important thing to remember is to not put yourself at danger by...

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