Press Releases

Loud Noise Violation

Release Date/Time: 2/28/2021 11:06 AM
Incident: Lound Noise Violation
Date: Sunday, 2/27/2021
Time: 7:45 AM
Location: 200 block of Rianda Circle

On Saturday 2/27/21, at about 7:45 PM, officers responded to a loud music complaint on Rianda Circle.  This location is about one block from the police building and officers could hear the music from the station parking lot.  When the initial officers arrived, they saw a large concert stage with a live band in the business parking lot. The stage was similar to the stages used for concerts at the Sports Complex. There were approximately 100 people in attendance, some in their vehicles and about half outside their vehicles dancing.  When officers asked for the person responsible for the show, the band manager told the officers they were contracted to play the concert but would not say by who.  The band, 'Los Bandadosos”, is a well-known band from the 80's. Officers learned there was a $20 cover charge at the door and the event was also being live streamed. There was a $10 live-stream charge and there may have been as many as 5,000 people watching. 

Eventually, officers located the event promoter, Hector Campos.  Mr. Campos was very upset at the officers, wanted to know why they were on his property, and demanded they leave.  They advised him of the noise complaint and told him it needed to be turned off or he would be issued a citation.  Mr. Campos demanded the officers leave his property since it was a private event. A police supervisor responded to the scene and, recognizing that in addition to the loud noise violation there were obvious COVID concerns, stressed the event would not be allowed to continue. Mr. Campos was issued a citation for the loud music and directed to shut down the concert. Campos reluctantly signed the citation only after being warned that failure to do so would result in his arrest – he signed and demanded the officers leave. 

The officers remained to ensure Mr. Campos complied. The band continued to play for over 15 minutes after Campos was cited and ordered to shut down the show. Again, there obvious COVID concerns with this gathering, however, officers recognized the need to peacefully disperse the large crowd knowing that many were unhappy about the authorities ending an event they paid money to attend.  

The officers, using considerable restraint and discretion, addressed the noise complaint, shut down the event, and peacefully dispersed the crowd without incident.

There will be additional follow up with City Code Enforcement in the coming days.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray
Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Officer Responding to Emergency Struck by DUI

Release Date/Time: 2/27/2021 12:06 PM
Incident: DUI Collision with Patrol Car
Date: Saturday, 2/27/2021
Time: 12:04 AM
Location: John Street/101 Off-ramp

Officer responding to an emergency call struck by a DUI driver.

Last night at approximately 12:04 AM, an officer was responding Code 3 (lights and siren) to assist officers who were in a struggle with a fighting suspect. The officer was traveling westbound on John St. and was approaching the southbound off-ramp when a DUI driver made an illegal left turn and crashed into the responding police unit. The collision resulted in significant damage to the police vehicle, leaving it with a bent axle and inoperable. The DUI driver did not stop to help the officer and immediately fled the scene. The officer was able to broadcast a description of the driver and suspect vehicle as it fled.

Other officers located the suspect at Kern and East Market Street. The DUI driver, 25-year-old Lyric Renee Slade-Southall, was arrested for DUI, and Felony Hit and Run Resulting in Injury. A DUI investigation was completed and Slade-Southhall was found to be over twice the legal limit. She was booked into County Jail. 

The officer involved in the collision was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and was released. Thankfully, she is doing well.

The DUI driver not only injured an officer but kept that officer and others from being able to respond to the original call. Fortunately, there were plenty of other on-duty officers available to help.

DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!

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

Attempted Homicide Update

Release Date/Time: 2/23/2021 9:35 AM
Incident:Attempted Homicide Update
Date: Tuesday, 2/23/2021
Time: 9:35 AM
Location: 2005 N. Main St.

The female victim, who was seated in the vehicle, has been treated and released. The male victim is still hospitalized and remains in critical condition. Fortunately, a 9 year old passenger in the back seat, was not injured.

The male suspect is described as having a medium build wearing dark clothing with black and white tennis shoes. He was last seen running eastbound on Castro St.

This investigation is ongoing, anyone with information is asked to call Detective Garcia at (831)758-7132 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.

Original Press Release:

Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 2/20/2021 8:53 AM
Incident: Attempted Homicide
Date: Friday, 2/19/2021
Time: 9:46 PM
Location: 2005 N. Main St.

On Friday, 2/19/21 at 9:46 pm officers responded to the parking lot of Denny's at 2005 N. Main St. on a report of gunshots heard in the area. On arrival they contacted an adult male and an adult female, both 44 years of age suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Both victims were transported to a local hospital, with the male in critical condition and the female in stable condition.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Garcia at (831)758-7132 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:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:758-7289

Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 2/20/2021 8:53 AM
Incident: Attempted Homicide
Date: Friday, 2/19/2021
Time: 9:46 PM
Location: 2005 N. Main St.

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

On Friday, 2/19/21 at 9:46 pm officers responded to the parking lot of Denny's at 2005 N. Main St. on a report of gunshots heard in the area. On arrival they contacted an adult male and an adult female, both 44 years of age suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Both victims were transported to a local hospital, with the male in critical condition and the female in stable condition.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Garcia at (831)758-7132 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.

 

Homicide Update: Victim Identification

Release Date/Time: 2/23/2021 10:56 AM
Incident:Homicide Update: Victim Identification
Date: Tuesday, 2/23/2021
Time: 10:56 AM
Family notifications have been made; the 57 year old victim has been identified as Gabriela Guzman.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective John McNeil at (831) 758-7277 or email him at: [email protected]

Or 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.

Original Press Release:

Release Date/Time: 2/18/2021 9:18 AM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Wednesday, 2/17/2021
Time: 12:15 PM
Location: 1700 Block of Great Island Street

On 02/17/21, at 12:15 PM, Officers responded to a welfare check request on the 1700 block of Great Island Street. The reporting party said he had been trying to reach his 57-year-old mother and had not heard from her in several days. He called his mother's work and they had not spoken to her since Friday. He had also tried to call his mother's boyfriend, Richard Ruiz (59), with no answer.

Officers responded to the home on Great Island Street and tried to call both the missing woman and Ruiz. Neither answered their phone. When officers checked the outside of the home, they found nothing unusual and no signs of forced entry. However, based on the suspicious circumstances, officers forced entry into the home and found the missing woman deceased inside. It was clear this was now a murder investigation.

Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) took over the investigation and a plan was developed to systematically and methodically process the scene. Detectives immediately began the search to locate Ruiz.

Within hours, detectives narrowed down Ruiz' location, and began tracking him. Detectives were able to make contact with Ruiz by phone. Using a ruse, they narrowed his location and plain clothes Salinas detectives in an unmarked vehicle located him in Gilroy. Ruiz was in his vehicle along southbound 101 near Masten Ave.  Detectives kept Ruiz under surveillance and followed him until marked police units were in place. Around midnight, Salinas Police Patrol officers attempted to stop Ruiz on Hwy 101 north of Salinas, but he failed to stop, and a pursuit began. Officers pursued Ruiz for approximately 30 miles toward Soledad reaching speeds in excess of 70 mph. As they approached Soledad his vehicle was spike stripped by CHP and he was arrested at gunpoint by Salinas officers and detectives.

Ruiz was booked into Monterey County Jail on charges of murder and evading officers.

Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators are still processing the scene on Great Island Street and will likely be there through the morning and afternoon.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of additional family members.

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:758-7289

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 2/18/2021 9:18 AM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Wednesday, 2/17/2021
Time: 12:15 PM
Location: 1700 Block of Great Island Street

On 02/17/21, at 12:15 PM, Officers responded to a welfare check request on the 1700 block of Great Island Street. The reporting party said he had been trying to reach his 57-year-old mother and had not heard from her in several days. He called his mother's work and they had not spoken to her since Friday. He had also tried to call his mother's boyfriend, Richard Ruiz (59), with no answer.

Officers responded to the home on Great Island Street and tried to call both the missing woman and Ruiz. Neither answered their phone. When officers checked the outside of the home, they found nothing unusual and no signs of forced entry. However, based on the suspicious circumstances, officers forced entry into the home and found the missing woman deceased inside. It was clear this was now a murder investigation.

Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) took over the investigation and a plan was developed to systematically and methodically process the scene. Detectives immediately began the search to locate Ruiz.

Within hours, detectives narrowed down Ruiz' location, and began tracking him. Detectives were able to make contact with Ruiz by phone. Using a ruse, they narrowed his location and plain clothes Salinas detectives in an unmarked vehicle located him in Gilroy. Ruiz was in his vehicle along southbound 101 near Masten Ave.  Detectives kept Ruiz under surveillance and followed him until marked police units were in place. Around midnight, Salinas Police Patrol officers attempted to stop Ruiz on Hwy 101 north of Salinas, but he failed to stop, and a pursuit began. Officers pursued Ruiz for approximately 30 miles toward Soledad reaching speeds in excess of 70 mph. As they approached Soledad his vehicle was spike stripped by CHP and he was arrested at gunpoint by Salinas officers and detectives.

Ruiz was booked into Monterey County Jail on charges of murder and evading officers.

Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators are still processing the scene on Great Island Street and will likely be there through the morning and afternoon.

The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of additional family members.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective John McNeil at (831) 758-7277 or email him at: [email protected]

Or 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.

 

 

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

Homicide Investigation

Release Date/Time: 2/17/2021 9:50 PM
Incident: Homicide Investigation
Date: Wednesday, 2/17/2021
Time: 9:50 PM
Location: 1700 Block of Great Island

Salinas Police are investigating a homicide that occurred on Great Island Street. Detectives are on scene. 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.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. Brian Johnson
Telephone: 831-758-7250

Homicide and Attempted Homicide Arrests

Release Date/Time: 2/14/2021 9:50 AM
Incident:  Homicide and Attempted Homicide Arrests
Date: Sunday, 2/14/2021
Time: 9:50 AM
Location:  500 Block of Sunrise Street

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

On January 12, 2017, at approximately 9:00 pm, Salinas Police Officers were in the area of Garner Avenue and North Sanborn Road when they heard several gunshots. Shortly thereafter, we received a ShotSpotter activation from the 500 block of Sunrise Street. Officers arrived in less than one minute and encountered 4 victims with gunshot wounds.  Two of the victims had non-life-threatening wounds, but 27-year-old Jose Luis Flores-Vargas and 25-year-old Alejandro Ramirez were pronounced dead at the scene.  None of the victims were gang affiliated.

Detectives investigated the shooting, reached out to the community and followed up on every lead.  Working with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners and the Monterey County District Attorney's Office, we secured arrest warrants for 27-year-old Ryan Meza and 25-year-old Joseph Garcia, which were issued on January 21, 2021.  On January 23, 2021, Salinas Police Patrol Officers located Ryan Meza in the 200 block of East Alvin Drive and arrested him without incident.  On February 13, 2021, the Salinas Police Violence Suppression Task Force (VSTF) determined Joseph Garcia was in a residence in the 300 block of West Acacia Street.  The location was surrounded, and Garcia was called out and arrested without incident.  Meza and Garcia were booked in Monterey County Jail for Murder and Attempted Murder.

This case is part of a long-term investigation in partnership with the United States Attorney's Office and Monterey County District Attorney's Office.  24-year-old Siaki Tavale and 29-year-old Mark Garcia were federally indicted for their part in this shooting. 

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Officer Byron Gansen at (831) 801-3549 or email him at [email protected], or 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.

Prostitution Sting Operation

Release Date/Time: 2/16/2021 1:29 PM
Incident:Prostitution Sting Operation
Date: Friday, 2/12/2021
Location:City of Salinas

Based on several complaints received for illicit activity at massage parlors in Salinas, Salinas PD organized an undercover enforcement operation which took place on Friday February 12, 2021. Four locations were targeted. One location was not open for business and the other three were found to be in violation of prostitution activity.

The three locations open for business and conducting illegal prostitution were located at 1164 #4 Monroe St where Guihua Zhao (58) and Achara Basnyet (49) were arrested on prostitution charges. The second location was 116 Abbot St where Li Wang (53) was arrested on prostitution charges. The last location was 984 #4 Lupin Dr. where Li Jiang (56) was also arrested on prostitution charges.

All arrested were processed and cited for prostitution and conspiracy.

It is important to note this investigation was initiated by concerned residents who observed suspicious activity at these locations and notified the Salinas Police Department. To all of you, thanks for the assist.

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:758-7289

Exemplary Actions by Off-Duty Salinas PD Detective Ruben Sanchez

Release Date/Time: 2/25/2021 12:26 PM
Incident:Exemplary Actions by Off-Duty Salinas PD Detective Ruben Sanchez
Date: Sunday, 2/7/2021
Location:Asilomar Beach

On February 22, 2021, the Salinas Police Department received a letter from a grateful community member regarding Detective Ruben Sanchez's exemplary actions, while off-duty.  The letter stated the following:

Dear Ms. Fresé,

This letter is in reference to one of your employees, Officer Ruben Sanchez.

On Sunday, February 7, my husband I went to the beach in Asilomar to spend the day.  During the afternoon, my husband, who has had a stroke, fell and his head on a boulder.  I cried out for help.  Officer Sanchez, who was spending the day with his family, had observed the accident and rushed to my husband's aid.

He assisted me to stabilize his head, then called 911.  He didn't leave my husband's side until the ambulance arrived.  Officer Sanchez, in our opinion, acted heroically, and was caring, and kind.  Thanks to him, I felt at ease, knowing that my husband was in good hands.  He even brought our belongings to the car, which allowed us to answer questions from the paramedics.  We believe Officer Sanchez went above and beyond 'the call of duty,” to assist and support us. 

It speaks very highly of your police department to have among its members a man such as Officer Sanchez.  We are very grateful to him and hope that he receives words of recognition for his outstanding support to our family. He is truly a 'good Samaritan,” and the city of Salinas is lucky to have him in its police department.

Part of Salinas PD's Organizational Value Statement notes, 'The Salinas Police Department exists to serve the community.  We do this by protecting life and property, preventing crime, enforcing the law, and by maintaining order for all citizens.”  Detective Sanchez's actions prove that our community does not stop at the city limits and our commitment to protecting life does not only apply while on-duty.  We would like to acknowledge and commend Detective Sanchez for his off-duty actions and thank him for displaying the high moral fiber expected of a Salinas Police Officer. 

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:758-7289

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