Press Releases

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 www.nhtsa.gov/ciot

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 5/16/2017 2:23 AM

Incident: Homicide

Date: Monday, 5/15/2017

Time: 8:25 PM

Location: 1300 Block of Garner Ave

Officers responded to a victim of a shooting at the 1300 Block of Garner Ave. 41-year-old Emilio Barrera and 28-year-old Antonio Ortega were found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Responding units located the victims.  Medical staff pronounced the victims dead at the scene.  There is no further information at this time.  These are the 17th and 18th homicides of the year and are being investigated as gang related. 

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information about this homicide to contact Detective Rudy Roman at (831) 758-7913 or Detective John Richardson at (831) 758-7477. 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 Bureau

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 5/14/2017 2:53 AM

Incident: Homicide

Report #: 17-050660

Date: Saturday, 5/13/2017

Time: 10:47 PM

Location: 100 Block of Paloma Ave.

On May 13, 2017, at approximately 10:47pm, officers responded to the report of a victim of a shooting. The caller said they had heard about five gunshots about 15 minutes prior but did not look outside to investigate. When they did go outside, they found the 23-year-old victim laying on the porch at the front door. He had been shot several times in his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation has revealed the victim drove his vehicle over to an address on Paloma to visit a family member. The victim walked out of the house to use his phone and was confronted by at least two suspects. For unknown reasons, the suspects fired several rounds, striking the victim and the residence. The suspects may have fled in a white, smaller SUV. They were last seen southbound on Tampa St.

The victim 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 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

Fatal Collision

Release Date/Time: 5/9/2017 10:13 PM

Incident: Fatal Collision

Report #: 17-050475

Date: Tuesday, 5/9/2017

Time: 6:25 PM

Location: 150 Sherwood

Officers responded to the mobile home park at 150 Sherwood Dr. on the report of an injury collision. Upon arrival, they determined that a 4-year old child had been struck by a car. The child was suffering from obvious trauma and was not conscious or breathing. Officers conducted CPR until emergency medical personnel arrived.  

Preliminary investigation revealed that the 4-year old boy was riding scooters with his 6-year old sibling in the driveway of the complex. The older child rode in front of a 2014 Dodge Charger driven by a 45-year old female. The driver slowed suddenly to avoid hitting the 6-year old but did not see the 4-year old ride in front of her as she began to accelerate. The child was struck and witnesses came to assist. The child was transported to a nearby trauma center but medical efforts were unsuccessful and he was was pronounced deceased.

The driver remained at the scene. She was licensed, insured and did not appear to be under the influence of any intoxicants. She voluntarily agreed to provide a blood sample and at this point, it does not appear the driver committed any criminal violations. The case will continue to be investigated for any other violations.

Release Authorized by: Commander S. Bryan

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

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Question of the Day

My neighbors keep a rooster in their backyard. Is this legal?
 
No. The Salinas Municipal Code  prohibits any fowl or livestock to be kept as pets. This includes pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, etc. Roosters are especially bothersome because of the noise they create and the fact they are sometimes used for cockfights and gambling.
 
How many pets am I allowed to have at my house?
 
Salinas City residents are allowed to have four pets per household. This includes any combination, such...

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