Press Releases

Armed Robbery Business - Shooting

Release Date/Time: 1/4/2017 12:21 AM

Incident: Armed Robbery Business - Shooting

Report #: 17-010112

Date: Tuesday, 1/3/2017

Time: 7:37 PM

Location: 201 Williams Road - Quality Liquors

Officers responded to an armed robbery at the business where a clerk and suspect exchanged gunfire.  The suspect, described as a Hispanic male with a blue colored bandana over his face, entered with a handgun and demanded money.  An unknown amount of money was provided to the suspect.  The suspect left the business as the clerk followed.  The suspect fired rounds at the clerk and fled westbound on East Market Street.  The clerk followed and the suspect fired again at the clerk.  The clerk, fearing for his safety, fired several rounds from his personal firearm at the suspect.  The suspect was last seen running northbound on Kenneth.  It is unknown if the suspect was struck by gunfire.  One of the last two rounds that the suspect fired at the clerk penetrated the exterior wall of a mobile home located in the 200 block of Williams Road.  A 31 year old male, who was watching television, was struck in the left shoulder by the bullet.  He was immediately transported by family to Natividad Medical Center for a non-life threatening wound.  The suspect is still at large.  Case is still being investigated. 

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Arrest of Double Homicide suspect Ellin "Omar" Escamilla

Release Date/Time: 1/3/2017 2:56 PM

Incident: Arrest of Double Homicide suspect

Date: Tuesday, 1/3/2017

Time: 8:30AM

Location: Los Angeles,  CA

At approximately 0830 today, wanted double homicide suspect, Ellin "Omar" Escamilla was arrested without incident at a Victory Outreach church in Los Angeles, CA by the US Marshal Service Northern CA and Central CA-Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force. Ellin Escamila was wanted on a $2,000,000 warrant charging two counts of homicide, related to deaths of his parents (see original press release below).  The Salinas Police Department has long held a strong working relationship with the US Marshal Service (USMS) and has been working with them on this case from its onset.   Several potential leads and/or tips have been investigated over the last seven weeks by this agency and the USMS focusing mainly in Southern CA and Arizona.  These efforts resulted in the USMS Fugitive Task Force locating and arresting Ellin Escamilla this morning.  Salinas Police Detectives have traveled to Los Angeles to interview and transport Escamilla back to Salinas where he will be booked into Monterey County Jail. 

Release Authorized by: Stan Cooper, Commander


Telephone: (831) 758-7350


11/16/2016 Release

Double Homicide

On 11/15/2016, a relative arrived at a family home on Essex Court.  Upon entry the relative found the home in disarray with obvious signs of a struggle apparent.  The relative walked out of the residence and called 911.  Responding officers located a deceased male and female inside the residence along with signs of a violent encounter.  The investigation has revealed that Ellin "Omar" Escamilla DOB 4/11/1991 lived at the home, and is the person responsible for the deaths of both victims. A felony "no-bail" warrant has been issued for his arrest charging 2 counts of Homicide.  The names of the victims are not being released at this time, pending confirmation of identity by the Monterey County Coroner.  It is expected this will occur sometime late tomorrow afternoon and a subsequent release will be completed at that time.  Detectives have received confirmed sightings of Omar Escamilla in the greater Los Angeles area and the vehicle he had been diving, a brown Lincoln MKX  CA: 6SMS157 has been located and recovered.  Based upon past work and family history, it is believed that Omar Escamilla may be in route to the El Centro, CA or Yuma, AZ area.  

If anyone sees Ellin Omar Escamilla, has contact with,  or knows of his whereabouts, they are asked to call 911 or the Salinas Police Department Watch Commander at 831-758-7250.  If you have other information regarding him, please call Detective Stephen Craig at 831-758-7929.  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".

Armed Robbery--Occurred December 23rd

On December 23, 2016, an armed robbery occurred at the Subway sandwich shop located at 1180 South Main St.   The suspect description at the time of the robbery was a white male adult 5'-8” tall weighing approximately 160lbs.  The suspect was wearing a gray beanie with strings hanging on the sides, a dark colored sweatshirt and black pants.  The suspect was holding a small handgun during the robbery. Immediately following the robbery there was little suspect information and a surveillance photo of the suspect was published on the Salinas Police Facebook page.

On December 31st, 2016 Salinas Police Department was contacted by Seaside Police Department who notified that they had stopped James Insular (30) in Seaside after an anonymous citizen reported seeing Insular in Seaside matching the description of the photograph published on social media.  A Salinas Police Investigator responded to Seaside to follow up on this contact with Insular in Seaside and was able to get enough information to continue on with the robbery investigation.

The robbery investigation continued through the weekend and based upon information developed there was enough evidence to arrest Insular for the robbery of the Subway Sandwich restaurant.  Insular was already in custody at the Monterey County Jail for unrelated charges from Seaside however was booked on additional charges of armed robbery based upon his involvement in the Salinas robbery.  Case will be forwarded to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office for filling. 

DUI / Driver's License Checkpoint

Release Date/Time: 12/29/2016 11:53 PM

Incident: DUI / Driver's License Checkpoint

Report #: Several

Date: Thursday, 12/29/2016

Time: 11:32 PM

Location: E. Laurel Drive and Maryal Drive

On Thursday, December 29th from 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM, the Salinas Police Department conducted a DUI / Driver's License Checkpoint on East Laurel Drive near Maryal Drive. Eleven officers and two Community Service Officers participated in the operation.

The checkpoint was active for about 4 hours. 968 cars drove through the checkpoint and officers contacted 478 drivers. During that time officers used Standardized Field Sobriety Tests to examine 10 drivers. One driver was arrested for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol and the other nine were determined not to be under the influence. Two drivers were cited for driving with a suspended license and 7 drivers were cited for driving while unlicensed. Nine other citations were written to drivers who committed Vehicle Code violations around the checkpoint.

The DUI driver was a 25-year-old female who blew .24 and .25 on the alcohol tester, three times the legal limit. This was the driver's third arrest for Driving Under the Influence. She was booked into Monterey County Jail on charges of Driving Under the Influence and Driving on a Suspended License.  

Youth from both the Sun Street Center's PARTS Coalition and the Sunrise House Prevention Youth Council were in attendance to support the efforts to prevent drunk and drugged driving.

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


Release Date/Time: 1/1/2017 11:57 AM

Incident: Homicide

Date: Sunday, 1/1/2017

Time: 2:33 AM

Location: 13000 Block of Arthur St


On January 1, 2017, at approximately 2:33 am, officers responded to the 13000 block of Arthur Street for a victim of shooting. Upon arrival they found 21-year-old Christian Rosales suffering from a gunshot wound.  Medical aid was given, however the victim was pronounced deceased at the scene.  There is very little suspect information at this time.  It appears the victim had left a New Year's Eve party in the area when the incident occurred.

If anyone has information regarding this homicide, they are asked to contact Detective Hendrickson at (831) 758-7129 or Detective Murphy at (831) 758-7322. 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: Sgt. Brian Johnson, Investigations Bureau

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

Attempted Murder- Shooting

Release Date/Time: 12/29/2016 4:55 AM

Incident: Attempted Murder- Shooting

Report #: 16-121431

Date: Thursday, 12/29/2016

Time: 1:08 AM

Location: 500 Blk James St.

Three people were in a driveway of a home in the 500 block James St. working on a vehicle. One or two males walked down the driveway and began shooting at them. A male was struck in the arm and a female was struck in the leg. Both were transported to NMC with non-life threatening injuries. This incident is being investigated as possibly gang related.

Release Authorized by: Robert Hampson III

Telephone: (831) 758-7250


Release Date/Time: 12/29/2016 12:29 AM

Incident: Robbery

Report #: 16 12 1419

Date: Thursday, 12/29/2016

Time: 6:57 PM

Location: 1200 Block of N. Main St

Two men entered a smoke shop on the 1200 block of North Main Street armed with handguns and robbed the business. The men stole smoking pipes from the shelves and cash from the register and a cell phone from one of the employees. The suspects fled westbound through the lot. Both suspects were described as Hispanic male adults, approximately 5'8”, dressed in all black, and armed with black semi-automatic handguns.

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

Shooting / Attempted Murder

Release Date/Time: 12/28/2016 6:39 PM

Incident: Shooting / Attempted Murder

Report #: 16 12 1406

Date: Wednesday, 12/28/2016

Time: 1:45 PM

Location: 100 Block of E. Bolivar Street

A 25-year-old man was shot multiple times in front of a home on the 100 block of East Bolivar Street. The victim and his 15-year-old brother were in front of the residence when they were approached by two men. The suspects pulled handguns and yelled the name of a local street gang as they started shooting. The victims began running and the 25-year-old was struck in the abdomen and in the leg. The suspects ran eastbound on Santa Rita and then southbound toward the Boronda Manor apartments.

Suspect #1 was described as approximately 17 years old, 5'10”, thin build, with slicked back hair, a thin mustache, and wearing a black long sleeve sweater and brown pants.

Suspect #2 was described as approximately 16 years old, 5'10”, thin build, wearing a black long sleeve sweatshirt with the sleeves rolled up. The suspect was described as possibly having a tattoos on his forearms.

The victim was transported to a local hospital and is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

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

Retirement of Deputy Chief Daniel Perez

Release Date/Time: 12/28/2016 2:21 PM

Incident:  Retirement of Deputy Chief Daniel Perez

Date: Wednesday, 12/28/2016

Time: 2:21 PM

Location:  200 Lincoln Ave.  City Hall Rotunda

After 32 years of law enforcement service Deputy Chief Daniel Perez will be retiring on Friday December 30, 2016.  The Salinas Police Department will  be holding a final briefing for him on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 3:00PM in the City Hall Rotunda.

Deputy Chief Dan Perez began his law enforcement career in 1984 with the Monterey Co. Sheriff's Dept. as a Level II Reserve deputy working patrol, and special events.  He was hired full-full time as a Patrol Deputy in May of 1995.  He attended the Alameda County Police Academy in Pleasanton, CA., graduating #2 overall in his class.  During his career at MCSO, he worked out of the Salinas, and King City stations.  He attained the rank of Corporal/FTO, and also worked as a Coroner's Investigator.  He was on the Sheriff's SWAT team and Riot Control Team. He worked for Sheriff's Office until February 1, 1992. 

Dan joined the Salinas Police Department on February 2, 1992.  He's held many assignments in his career to include patrol officer, field training officer, and SWAT team member.  He was promoted to Police Corporal in 1993, and Police Sergeant in 1995.  In addition to patrol, he's been the sergeant of the Violence Suppression Unit, Personnel and Training Unit, and Traffic Unit. 

He promoted to Lieutenant in 2001 and later to Police Commander in 2005.  He has managed units and programs in all three divisions of the police department: Patrol, Investigations, and Administration.  He served as an Area Commander, Tactical Commander, and Incident Commander throughout these assignments.  He promoted to Deputy Chief in 2013, and is currently the Investigations Division Chief.

Dan has been active in the community throughout his entire career.  He has volunteered his time towards programs and committees such as explorers, school yearbook committees, and youth and high school football, basketball, and baseball programs.  He sat on the board of directors of three local non-profit agencies: The Salinas Police Activities League (PAL), Sun Street Centers, and Second Chance Youth and Family Services. 

Dan was born and raised in Salinas and is a graduate of Alisal High School.  He has a degree from Hartnell College in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco, and a Master's Degree in Human Resources from Chapman University.  He is a graduate of the POST Supervisory Leadership Institute and POST Command College.  He's received several awards and recognitions throughout his 32-year career. 



Release Authorized by:  Deputy Chief Dave Shaw

Telephone:  831-758-7271

Update to Winter DUI Enforcement Campaign

Release Date/Time: 12/27/2016 8:42 AM

Incident: Update to Winter DUI Enforcement Campaign

Report #: N/A

Date: Tuesday, 12/27/2016

Time: 8:12 AM

Location: City of Salinas

On December 16th, the Salinas Police Department started a Holiday / Winter DUI Enforcement Campaign. Several officers have been working special DUI saturation patrols during nighttime hours. Through Monday December 26th, officers have arrested 9 DUI drivers. Five of the nine were also unlicensed. There were three traffic collisions caused by DUI drivers and all of these drivers were also unlicensed. Fortunately, no one was injured in the collisions.

During this same time period there were four hit and run collisions. Officers located and arrested the driver in all four cases. One of these drivers was one of the afore mentioned DUI arrests.

The DUI enforcement campaign will continue through January 1st. The Police Department will continue to put out saturation patrols and will conduct a DUI checkpoint on Thursday, December 29th. Studies continue to show that DUI checkpoints are an effective tool in reducing the incidents of drunk and drugged driving. Some drivers are arrested during the checkpoint but the real strength of the checkpoint comes from deterring DUI drivers and educating the public to the dangers of drunk and drugged driving.

Funding for this holiday campaign is provided by 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


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