Press Releases

Homicide Victim Identified

Release Date/Time: 9/23/2020 4:40 PM
Incident: Homicide Victim Identified
Date: Wednesday, 9/20/2020
Time: 10:52 PM
Location:800 Block of East Laurel Drive

 

Murder victim identified:

On September 20, 2020, at approximately 10:52 PM, officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation in the wooded area in the 800 block of East Laurel Dr.  Officers scoured the area and located two males suffering from gunshot wounds.  One male died from his wounds and the other victim, a 28-year-old male, was transported to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

The homicide victim has been positively identified as Roberto Vargas Hernandez (38).

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 and Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 9/21/2020 4:52 AM
Incident:  Homicide and Attempted Homicide
Date: Sunday, 9/20/2020
Time: 10:52 PM
Location: 800 Block of East Laurel Drive 

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

On September 20, 2020, at approximately 10:52 PM, officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation in the wooded area in the 800 block of East Laurel Dr.  Officers scoured the area and located two males suffering from gunshot wounds.  One male died from his wounds and the other victim, a 28-year-old male, was transported to a local hospital and is expected to survive. 

We will provide more information when available.

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.

Labor Day Weekend Reckless Driving Enforcement

Release Date/Time: 9/11/2020 11:34 AM
Incident:Labor Day Weekend Reckless Driving Enforcement
Date: Friday, 9/4/2020
Location:City of Salinas

The Salinas Police Department has received numerous complaints from local businesses and residents about reckless drivers in parking lots and on our roadways.  These drivers shut down our roadways or block parking lots to perform dangerous driving maneuvers such as drifting, donuts and racing; commonly known as Side-Shows.  Some vehicles have passengers hanging out of the windows while performing these maneuvers creating a dangerous situation for nearby spectators and passengers.

Our community has reported the loud vehicles, yelling spectators and screeching tires keep nearby residents up at night and our businesses report vandalism, littering and damage to their parking lots.  These events attract hundreds of vehicles and hundreds of spectators.  

Over Labor Day Weekend, we conducted special enforcement to curb the reckless driving.  With help from the Monterey area California Highway Patrol, we were able to identify several vehicles driving recklessly in parking lots and took immediate action by impounding vehicles and citing drivers for reckless driving.  

Some vehicles were able to get away, but our Traffic Unit has followed up with seizure warrants authorized by a Monterey County Superior Judge to seize and impound the vehicles for 30-days.  We have since impounded and seized five vehicles and are in the process of locating and seizing more throughout Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.   

This is an ongoing investigation and we will continue this type of enforcement.  If drivers come to Salinas to drive recklessly then expect their vehicles to be seized; either immediately from the scene or a few days later after a seizure warrant has been authorized.

We send a sincere thank you to our local businesses and residents who have reported the reckless driving and encourage them to continue to let us know.

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Shooting Arrest

Release Date/Time: 9/3/2020 2:40 PM
Incident: Shooting Arrest
Date: Thursday, 9/3/2020
Time: 7:00 AM
Location: 100 Block of North Madeira Avenue

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

On August 21, 2020, at approximately 9:50 PM, officers responded to a shooting. The victim had been standing in front of a food truck located on Carr Avenue just north of E. Market Street. The victim was approached by 3 suspects who arrived in a grey Kia Stinger. One of the three suspects fired several shots at the victim as they fled the area.

On September 3, 30, SWAT, HNT, VSTF and Detectives served a search warrant in the 100 block of North Madeira Avenue.  Detectives searched the home and located a Kahr 9mm semi-auto handgun, a 20-gauge sawed-off shotgun, 16 lbs. of marijuana and over $18,000 in cash. During questioning, 21-year-old Roberto Amesquita, and a 17-year-old male, both placed themselves at the scene of the shooting.  The evidence indicates the victim was targeted because they believed he was a rival gang member.  Roberto Amesquita was booked in County Jail for attempted murder, gang conspiracy, possession of marijuana for sales and firearms charges.  The 17-year-old was booked in Juvenile Hall for attempted murder and gang conspiracy.  A third man, 31-year-old Armando Reyes, was arrested during the warrant service for a felony no-bail warrant for domestic violence.

The investigation is on-going, we would like to hear form anyone with information. Please call Detective Robbie Miller at (831) 758- 7954, 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.

Go Safely, California: September is Pedestrian Safety Month

Release Date/Time: 9/3/2020 12:26 PM
Incident:Go Safely, California: September is Pedestrian Safety Month
Date: September
Location:City of Salinas

September is Pedestrian Safety Month and Salinas Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across the state to educate the public on how to be safe when walking or driving. While the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfire emergencies have had an impact on Californians, the safety of pedestrians remains a cause for concern.

Since 2009, the number of pedestrians killed or injured on California roads has increased dramatically, accounting for nearly 25% of all roadway deaths. A report released earlier this year by the Governors Highway Association (GHSA) projected that pedestrian deaths in 2019 reached the highest point in more than 30 years.

'More people are out walking, exercising and doing what they can to spend a little time outdoors after spending so much time inside staying at home,” Salinas Police Department, Public Information Officer, Miguel Cabrera said. 'Looking out for one another is the least we can do during these difficult times.”

For the safety of everyone walking or driving, Salinas Police Department will have additional officers on patrol throughout the month of September specifically looking for violations made by drivers and pedestrians that make roads unsafe.

These violations include speeding, illegal turns, failure to yield, not stopping for signs or signals, and pedestrians who do not cross in marked crosswalks or designated crossing areas.

Salinas Police Department offers steps drivers and pedestrians can take to be safe:

Pedestrians 

  • Ditch the distractions. Keep your eyes up and phones down, especially when crossing the street. 
  • Always use marked crosswalks, preferably at stop signs or signals. 
  • Make eye contact and nod or wave at drivers. A quick nod or wave is an easy way to let a driver know you see them, and they see you. 
  • Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see. Get in the habit of walking with a flashlight or wearing a reflective vest so it is easier for drivers to spot you. 
  • If you need to briefly walk into the street to maintain social distancing on sidewalks, remember to look both ways for cars.

 Drivers 

  • Slow down on busy streets and at intersections. 
  • Avoid distractions, which includes cell phones, eating, using in-dash touch screens, or turning to talk to passengers. 
  • Be extra careful approaching crosswalks. Be prepared to stop for pedestrians. Stop prior to the crosswalk. 
  • Try to avoid blocking the crosswalk when making a right-hand turn. 
  • Have your headlights on and slow down at night when pedestrians are difficult to see

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:831 758-7289

Homicide

Release Date/Time: 8/28/2020 2:58 PM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Friday, 8/28/2020
Time: 3:15 AM - 7:00 AM
Location: 300 block of Archer Street.

At approximately 7:30 AM, officers responded to a possible shooting victim on the 300 block of Archer Street. Officers found a 30-year-old male later identified as Alejandro Ruacho. Ruacho had been shot several times and was pronounced dead at the scene. We have reason to believe the shooting may have taken place earlier in the morning, possibly around 3:30 AM.

Detectives are investigating the homicide and we would like to hear from anyone in our community who may have information that can help. Please call Detective Justin Heckman at (831) 758-7323, 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

Shooting - Attempted Murder

Release Date/Time: 8/23/2020 11:21 PM
Incident: Shooting / Attempted Murder
Date: Sunday, 8/23/2020
Time: 11:21 PM
Location: Fremont Street / Carr Ave.

At 7:30 PM officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation and calls of shots fired in the area of Fremont St. and Carr Avenue. Several bullet casings were located at the scene. About 15 minutes later officers received reports of a shooting victim in the area of Mae Avenue and Cortez Street. The 20-year-old victim was treated for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Detectives are investigating if the two incidents are connected.

Anyone with information please 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

Armed Robbery/Shot Fired- Suspect Arrest

Release Date/Time: 8/14/2020 8:53 AM
Incident: Armed Robbery/Shot Fired- Suspect Arrest
Date: Friday, 8/13/2020
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: 335 S. Sanborn Rd.

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

 

Thanks to help from the community and Monterey County Probation, we were able to identify the suspect in the grey sweatshirt as a 17-year-old Salinas resident. The boy was arrested by the Violence Suppression Task Force (VSTF) on July 22nd during a probation search. When VSTF officers contacted the teenager, he was holding a handgun, which he dropped as he was trying to get away. On August 13, 2020, the 17-year-old suspect pled guilty to the robbery and shooting the gun during the robbery. He will be sentenced at a later date.

We still need your help to identify the second suspect in the dark sweatshirt. Do you know who he is? The investigation is ongoing, so if you have any information, please contact Detective Alejandro Zamora at (831) 758-7148 or email him at [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.

Original Post:

On July 21, 2020, at approximately 11:00 PM, the two suspects shown in the photographs, walked into the 7-11 (335 South Sanborn Rd) and stole two 18 packs of beer. The clerk followed the suspects outside and the suspect with the gray hooded sweatshirt pulled out a handgun, pointed it in the clerk's direction and fired a single round. The two suspects entered a nearby dark colored sedan and fled the scene prior to police arrival.

Firearms Related Arrest

Release Date/Time: 8/9/2020 9:54 AM
Incident: Firearms Related Arrest
Date: Saturday, 8/8/2020
Time: 4:50 PM
Location: 1600 Block of First Ave.

On 8/8/2020 at approximately 4:50PM, the Salinas Police Department received a call regarding a person who had armed himself with a stolen handgun on the 1600 block of First Ave. The victim caller indicated that he was visiting from out of state and that he had secured his handgun in his vehicle. He noticed that the suspect, Ernesto Rodriguez Orellana (31), was inside the victims' truck going through his things. The victim confronted Orellana, who is a tenant at the residence, and noticed that he had taken his handgun and holster. When the suspect refused to return the stolen property, the victim called the police.

SPD officers arrived and attempted to have Orellana surrender. After several hours of negotiating, the Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT) and SWAT Team were activated and arrived at the scene. HNT took over negotiations which went on for several more hours. The suspect, who was a previously deported felon, continued to refuse to come out and insisted that he was going to get into a shootout with police.

SWAT eventually initiated an entry into the garage with the assistance of a distraction device. Orellana, who had dropped the gun, tried to rearm himself and was shot with a less lethal rubber round. He was then taken into custody.

Orellana was booked into Monterey County Jail for a variety of charges related to the firearm and narcotics. The entire incident took over 8 ½ hours and ended at approximately 1:30AM.

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

Assault and Resist Arrest Incident

Release Date/Time: 8/7/2020 6:27 PM
Incident: Assault and Resist Arrest Incident
Date: Wednesday, 8/5/2020
Time: 1:01 PM
Location:San Juan Grade Rd and Van Buren Ave

Assault and Resist Arrest Incident

On 8-5-2020 at 1:01pm, Salinas Police officers responded to a domestic disturbance call involving a father and son in the area of San Juan Grade Rd. and Van Buren Ave. The incident started in the family vehicle because the father was driving erratically in traffic and acting incoherent. The son was able get his father to pull over but at one point, the father attempted to choke the son.

Salinas PD was called, and it was noted in the dispatch that the 49-year-old father (suspect) was possibly positive for COVID-19. Arriving officers contacted the suspect who immediately started acting erratic, yelling and dropping to the ground for no reason. He then got up, picked up a glass bottle and threatened one of the officers with it. He also claimed to have COVID-19.

When the suspect attempted to re-enter the vehicle, officers approached him, and the suspect became combative and a struggle ensued. The suspect told the officers he was going to 'give them COVID” and proceeded to spit at them. The officers tased the suspect in order to gain control and to apply a spit sock (mesh head cover to prevent spitting) to protect the themselves from possibly becoming exposed.

The suspect had to be sedated by medical personnel in order to facilitate his transport to the hospital. Medical staff contacted the police department later in the evening to advise us the suspect tested positive for COVID-19. The officers involved in this incident were wearing their protective personal equipment as they do daily, but they will also be monitored for possible exposure.

Once the investigation is complete, a warrant request will be forwarded to the District Attorney's office for review and prosecution on charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.

Release Authorized by:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:758-7289

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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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