Press Releases

Attempted Homicide Arrest

Release Date/Time: 4/5/2017 4:22 PM

Incident: Attempted Homicide

Date: Wednesday, 4/5/2017

Time: 4:22 PM

Location: 1301 North Davis Road

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Brian Johnson, Investigations Bureau

Telephone: 831-758-7128

On March 27, 2017, at approximately 9:20pm, officers were dispatched to a victim of a shooting at the Applebee's Restaurant, located at 1301 North Davis Road.  Patrol officers arrived and found a 27-year-old male suffering from gunshot wounds. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Patrol officers investigated the incident and obtained enough suspect information to determine the shooter had fled the scene toward Highway 101. With the assistance of the CHP Helicopter, 34-year-old Royce Curl was located a short time later and taken in to custody. He was lodged at the Monterey County Jail for attempted murder and other charges.

During the investigation, Patrol officers and detectives reviewed video from the restaurant.  The video shows several males were involved in a discussion near the front of the restaurant.  The group walked through the doors towards the parking lot.  As Curl exited the building, he turned and fired several rounds towards the restaurant.  Surveillance video showed customers in the crowded restaurant trying to take cover from the shots being fired in their direction.  The victim was hit several times. During the review of the video, officers discovered a second shooter had exited the restaurant after Curl and fired gunshots at Curl as he fled through the crowded parking lot. Somehow, no other people were injured during the shootout.

The Investigations Bureau authored an arrest warrant for 27-year-old Timothy Hampton.  Hampton was contacted near the Salinas Police Department on April 4th and taken into custody without incident.  He was lodged in Monterey County Jail for attempted murder, assault with a firearm, and negligent discharge of a firearm.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone who may have seen the shooting or has any knowledge of the shooting to call Detective Jared Sivertson at (831) 758-7132 or Detective Derek Gibson at (831) 758-7442. 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.

Distracted Driving Month

Release Date/Time: 3/31/2017 2:43 PM

Incident: Distracted Driving Month

Report #: N/A

Date: Friday, 3/31/2017

Time: 1:42 PM

Location: City of Salinas

WORKING TOGETHER TO STOP DISTRACTED DRIVING

April is recognized as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In California, the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), the Salinas Police Department, CHP, local law enforcement, and community partners throughout the state are working together to make the roads safer by highlighting the dangers of being distracted while driving, especially by cell phones. 'Law enforcement would rather see everyone off their cell phones than hand out a lot of tickets,” said Rhonda Craft, director of the Office of Traffic Safety. 'Take care of calling, texting, setting your GPS and everything else before you hit the street.”

Lawmakers agree that distracted driving continues to be a growing problem among California's motorists. Assembly Bill 1785 went into effect on January 1, requiring all drivers in California to keep their cell phone out of their hands while operating a motor vehicle. Under the new law, a driver may activate or deactivate a feature or function of the cell phone or wireless communication device by swiping or tapping its screen only if it is properly mounted or not being held in a driver's hand. Specific information on the new law can be found at www.ots.ca.gov.

The Office of Traffic Safety will begin a new public awareness campaign throughout the state in April emphasizing how the new law makes virtually all hand-held cell phone activity illegal – talking, texting, and using apps The campaign aims to end distracted driving through education and raise awareness about the associated dangers. The goal is to change motorist behaviors and save lives, not just in the month of April but year-round.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 3,477 people were killed and an estimated 391,000 injured in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted drivers in 2015. That is a 9 percent increase in fatalities as compared to the previous year. Salinas PD will join other law enforcement agencies throughout the state to provide educational experiences as well as zero tolerance enforcement efforts to discourage distracted driving. Officers will have a special emphasis this month on enforcing all cell phone and distracted driving laws. The goal is to gain voluntary compliance by drivers, but sometimes citations are necessary for motorists to better understand the importance of driving distraction free.

Salinas PD is deploying extra traffic officers with grant-funded resources on several different dates in city locations with the highest numbers of traffic collisions. Violators will be stopped and cited with fines set at $162 for first time offenders. This campaign is funded 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

Homicide Arrest

Today at approximately 10:30 am, members of the Salinas Police SWAT Team and Salinas Police Investigations Bureau served an arrest and search warrant in the 500 block of Santa Maria St. seeking to arrest Charles Gutierrez (25) for the August 7, 2015 murder of Eliot Cerna Guerrero (22) in the parking lot of 150 Sherwood Dr.  At the time of the original incident, Detectives had very limited information, and what turned out to be a partially sanitized crime scene.  The victims were exiting the mobile home park in a vehicle when they were approached by a group who began challenging them for their gang affiliation.  As the victims attempted to speed away, Gutierrez pulled a handgun and began firing, striking Cerna as he sat in the car.  Cerna's friends drove him to the hospital; however, he succumbed to his wounds a short time later.  While Gutierrez' name came up early in the investigation, Detectives have been reviewing evidence and tracking down witnesses over the course of the subsequent 1 1/2 years, and were eventually able to bring forth sufficient evidence to the District Attorney's Office to have a $1.25million warrant issued for his arrest.  Today's warrant service was conducted to not only locate and arrest Gutierrez for the homicide, but also to seek additional possible evidence.  Upon arriving on scene, SWAT and Detectives surrounded and called Gutierrez out of his residence; he was taken into custody without incident and later booked into Monterey County Jail for the warrant.

***********Original Release**********

Homicide and Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 8/8/2015 2:49 PM

Incident: Homicide and Attempted Homicide

Date: Friday, 8/7/2015

Time: 10:02 PM



Location: 150 Sherwood Dr.

NMC contacted the police department for a gunshot victim who had arrived in the emergency room.  The victim, Eliot Cerna Guererro (22) was driven to the emergency room by family members.  Guererro died shortly after his arrival. It is believed at this point in the investigation, the shooting occurred at 150 Sherwood Drive.  The victims were confronted by several gang members who challenged the victims about their gang affiliation.  The surviving victim attempted to drive away to avoid a confrontation when the suspect(s) blindly fired upon the vehicle shooting and killing Guererro and narrowly missing a juvenile who was seated behind the victim.  This is being investigated as a gang related homicide although the victim had no apparent gang ties.  If anyone may have witnessed the homicide or can provide information, they are encouraged to contact Detective Derek Gibson at 758-7442.

Homicide arrest

Suspect Arrested in March 23 Killing of Jess Gonzales

On Thursday March 23, 2017, Jess Gonzales (43) was shot and killed near North Main and Massa. Since that time, Salinas Police Detectives have been working leads, reviewing evidence, and contacting witnesses. That work led to the identification of 18-year-old Guadalupe Rosas as a suspect.

As the investigation continued, investigators developed sufficient probable cause to arrest Rosas for Gonzales' murder. Working with the Salinas Police Violence Suppression Unit, Rosas was tracked to a relative's home in the 1500 block of Vineyard Ave. in the City of Soledad. Working with the Soledad Police Department, our VSU and SWAT team surrounded the residence and told Rosas to come out. After a brief delay, Rosas emerged and was taken into custody without incident.

Rosas was later booked into Monterey County Jail for one count of homicide, associated gun and gang charges, and an outstanding probation violation warrant.

Commander Stan Cooper of the Salinas Police Investigations Bureau will make himself available at 1:30 today outside of the Department's main entry for any member of the media interested in conducting follow up interview.

***Previous Release***

The victim killed in the Thursday night, March 23rd shooting at Massa St and N. Main St. has been identified as 43-year-old Jess Carl Gonzales of Salinas. Gonzales was shot as he walked from the Shop N Save store located at 2143 N. Main St. For unknown reasons, a gunman approached Gonzales and shot him several times. It is unknown if there was some type of confrontation prior to the shooting. Stray bullets also struck the store but no other persons were injured. The suspect was described as a male, dressed in dark clothing. He was last seen running northbound on N. Main St.

The motive for the shooting is unknown but it is being investigated as gang related. This is the 12th homicide of the year in the City of Salinas.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone who may have seen the shooting or has any knowledge of the shooting to call Detective Dave Poulin at (831) 758-7270 or Detective Arlene Currier at (831) 758-7125. 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.


 

VSU/ Parole Searches

Release Date/Time: 3/28/2017 10:39 PM

Incident: VSU/ Parole Searches

Date: Tuesday, 3/28/2017

Time: 8:00 AM

Location: Salinas

On Tuesday, March 28th, Officers of the Salinas Police Department Violence Suppression Unit working in partnership with Monterey County Parole and Monterey County Probation conducted a series of parole compliance checks resulting in six arrests. Officers arrested two wanted parolees for absconding and violating parole, four of the arrests were for violations ranging from, possession of a firearm, gang association, possession of a controlled substance for sales, and possession of ammunition. A total of fifteen residences were searched during the sweep. One firearm was seized, ammunition, and a small amount of cocaine and methamphetamine. The arrested parolees were booked into Monterey County Jail.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray

Telephone: (831) 758-7123

Homicide Victim Identification

Release Date/Time: 3/28/2017 2:38 PM

Incident: Homicide Victim Identification

Report #: 17-031181

Date: Tuesday, 3/28/2017

Time: 1:36 PM

Location: 200 Blk of Dennis Ave.

The victim killed in the Saturday night, March 25th, shooting on Dennis Ave. has been identified as 31-year-old Fidencio Torres-Vega of Salinas. Torres-Vega was shot as he visited with his cousin in the driveway of a residence on Dennis Ave. At least two gunmen approached Torres-Vega and his cousin and shot them several times. It is unknown if there was some type of confrontation prior to the shooting. The suspects were described as males, dressed in dark clothing. They were last seen running southbound on Dennis Ave. at Miami St.

The motive for the shooting is unknown but it is being investigated as gang related. This was the 13th homicide of the year in the City of Salinas.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone who may have seen the shooting or has any knowledge of the shooting to call Detective Rudy Roman at (831) 758-7913 or Detective Arlene Currier at (831) 758-7125. 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

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 3/27/2017 3:38 AM

Incident: Homicide

Date: Sunday, 3/26/2017

Time: 10:30 PM

Location: 500 Block of Leslie Dr

Officers responded to the 500 Block of Leslie Dr for several reports of shots heard in the area. They were unable to locate a victim in the area but eventually found a crime scene. Minutes later Natividad Medical Center security located 28-year-old Victor Sausedo near the Emergency Room. . He had transported himself to the hospital from Leslie Dr.  While medical staff staff was treating him, Sausedo succumbed to his injuries at NMC. This is the 14th homicide of the year and is being investigated as gang related.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone who may have seen the shooting or has any knowledge of the shooting to call Detective Rudy Roman at (831) 758-7270 or Detective Arlene Currier at (831) 758-7125. 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: Sgt. Brian Johnson, Investigations

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

Homicide/Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 3/26/2017 3:56 AM

Incident: Homicide/Attempted Homicide

Report #: 17-031181

Date: Saturday, 3/25/2017

Time: 11:07 PM

Location: 200 Blk of Dennis Ave.

On Saturday, March 25, 2017, at approximately 11:07 PM, we received a ShotSpotter activation stating there was 23 gunshots fired in the 200 block of Dennis Ave. A short time later, the reports of shots fired started to come in from residents in the area. As officers arrived, they were advised of a victim of a shooting at a residence. When the officers arrived, they found a 31-year-old male, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. In the backyard of the same residence, officers found a 33-year-old male victim also suffering from gunshot wounds. Salinas Fire and American Medical Response (AMR) arrived and pronounced victim 1 deceased. They ultimately transported the second victim to Natividad Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

It appears the victims, who are cousins, were in the driveway of the residence drinking beer when two suspects confronted them. It is unknown if anything was said prior to the suspects pulling out guns and opening fire. Victim 2 was able to run into the backyard even though he had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Both victims lived in Salinas and have no gang contacts. They both were said to work in the fields so the motive for the shooting is unknown. The suspects fled on foot westbound on Dennis and may have gotten into a vehicle near the intersection of Dennis Ave. and Miami St. No other information was provided as to where the vehicle went from there. The only description of the suspects was two males dressed in dark clothing.

The name of the deceased victim is being withheld until proper notification can be made to family members. Although the victims are not associated with any gangs, this shooting is indicative of being committee by gang members, therefore, is being investigated as gang related. This is the 13th homicide in the City of Salinas this year.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone who may have seen the shooting or has any knowledge of the shooting to call Detective Rudy Roman at (831) 758-7270 or Detective Arlene Currier at (831) 758-7125. 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

Homicide Victim Identification

Release Date/Time: 3/25/2017 12:27 PM

Incident: Homicide Victim Identification

Report #: 17-031101

Date: Saturday, 3/25/2017

Time: 11:26 AM

Location: Massa St. and N. Main St.

The victim killed in the Thursday night, March 23rd shooting at Massa St and N. Main St. has been identified as 43-year-old Jess Carl Gonzales of Salinas. Gonzales was shot as he walked from the Shop N Save store located at 2143 N. Main St. For unknown reasons, a gunman approached Gonzales and shot him several times. It is unknown if there was some type of confrontation prior to the shooting. Stray bullets also struck the store but no other persons were injured. The suspect was described as a male, dressed in dark clothing. He was last seen running northbound on N. Main St.

The motive for the shooting is unknown but it is being investigated as gang related. This is the 12th homicide of the year in the City of Salinas.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone who may have seen the shooting or has any knowledge of the shooting to call Detective Dave Poulin at (831) 758-7270 or Detective Arlene Currier at (831) 758-7125. 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

Murder, DUI causing Death

Release Date/Time: 3/24/2017 1:16 PM

Incident: Murder, DUI causing Death

Report #: 17-031061

Date: Thursday, 3/23/2017

Time: 2:38 AM

Location: Work Street south of John Street

At the above listed time, William Henry Crabbe (38) and Alyssa Castro (27) were walking n/b on the east sidewalk of Work Street near the Good Nite Inn. A black 89 Ford Bronco was n/b in the #2 lane of Work Street at a high rate of speed. The Bronco left the roadway and drove up onto the sidewalk where it struck both victims. The suspect driving the Bronco then fled the scene. Crabbe suffered fatal injuries and Castro was transported to the hospital in critical condition. A witness saw a black Bronco leaving the scene. Over three hours later, a CHP officer spotted a black Bronco parked on West Acacia Street with damage that was consistent with the pedestrian traffic collision. He notified Salinas Police Officers who responded to the scene. The suspect, Jaime Garcia, (24) was located hiding inside the residence. He was arrested without further incident. A DUI investigation was conducted and Garcia was found to be under the influence of alcohol. A background check showed Garcia has a prior DUI conviction in 2014 and was currently still on probation for that conviction. He was found to have a suspended license and had a requirement to use an interlock device if driving. Garcia was booked into Monterey County Jail for 187 PC - Murder, 191.5 PC - Vehicular Manslaughter while intoxicated, 23152 (a)&(b) VC - Driving Under the Influence, 14601.2(a) VC - Suspended Driver, 20001(a) VC - Hit and Run with death, and 23247 VC - Driving Vehicle without Interlock Device.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

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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