Press Releases

Shooting Investigation

Release Date/Time: 5/2/2020 12:42 PM
Incident: Shooting Investigation
Date: Saturday, 5/2/2020
Time: 8:32 AM
Location: 800 Block of E. Laurel Drive

0n 05/02/20, at 8:32 AM, officers responded to a gunshot wound victim near the 800 block of E. Laurel Drive. The victim, a 29-year-old man, was taken to a local hospital with a single gunshot wound to the leg. Detectives are investigating whether there is any connection to last night's shooting.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137, or email 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

Release Date/Time: 5/1/2020 10:12 PM
Incident: Homicide
Date: Friday, 5/1/2020
Time: 5:28 PM
Location: 800 Block of East Laurel Drive

On 05/01/20, at approximately 5:28 PM, officers responded to a call of a shooting. The caller told dispatch there were two people shot. Officers arrived on scene and located a homeless camp in the wooded area near the bicycle path located east of the County Yard facility on the 800 block of East Laurel Drive. The officers located two shooting victims, one victim, a 28-year-old man, was deceased at the scene. The second victim, a 53-year-old man was transported to a local hospital and is expected to survive.

There may have been several others at the scene of the shooting who fled from the area. The suspect was described only as a Hispanic male who was last seen running eastbound.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Byron Gansen at (831) 758-7137, or email 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/ Robbery - Arrest

Release Date/Time: 4/30/2020 3:11 PM
Incident: Shooting/ Attempted Murder/ Robbery - Arrest
Date: Thursday, 4/30/2020
Time: 7:00 AM
Location: 400 Block of Noice Dr. / 1000 Block of East Laurel Drive

On 4/14/20, Officers responded to reports of gunshots at an apartment complex located on the 300 block of Casentini Street. On arrival, they found the front door to an apartment had been kicked open. Officers entered the apartment and found it empty, but they found nine 9 mm spent bullet casings on the patio. The officers searched the area and located the uninjured victims. One of the victims, a 22-year-old man, told officers he and a friend were inside his apartment when he heard a knock at the front door. He looked out the window and saw a man dressed all in black wearing a black mask. He was scared and decided not to open the door. About 30 seconds later he heard someone kicking the door, so he and his friend ran to the patio, jumped the fence, and ran. He then heard multiple gunshots as both victims ran from the area but neither of them where hit.

Patrol officers searching the area for evidence located a nearby security camera. The video showed a possible suspect vehicle, a silver 2017 Dodge Charger entering the apartment complex. Two males, one of which matching the description provided by the victim, could be seen on video running and getting into the vehicle after throwing what appear to be bags into the passenger compartment.

On 4/15/20, detectives conducted follow-up investigation on this case and authored a search warrant for the suspect's residence on the 1700 block of Humboldt Drive. The suspects were placed under surveillance by VSTF and detectives while the search warrant was obtained and while the SWAT team responded with aerial support from the CHP.

The SWAT Team surrounded the residence and peacefully arrested Jose Amezcua (18), and a 16-year-old juvenile. Detectives served the warrant and located a hidden and loaded .40 caliber handgun and a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. Detectives also located additional evidence implicating the suspects in the drug and gang related robbery. Amezcua was booked in County Jail on charges of Attempted Murder, Robbery, Conspiracy, and gang related charges. The 16-year-old juvenile was placed in Juvenile Hall on the same charges.

UPDATE 04/30/20:

Salinas Police Detectives conducted further investigation and identified two additional suspects, 18-year-old Hector Camberos and a 17-year-old male.  This morning, 04/30/20, at approximately 7:00 am, Salinas Police Detectives, SWAT and VSTF served search warrants at the residences of both suspects on the 400-block of Noice Drive and the 1000 block of East Laurel Drive.  Both suspects were taken into custody without incident.  During the search, a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, ammunition and gang paraphernalia was located.  Camberos was booked in Monterey County Jail for Attempted Murder, Robbery, Conspiracy and gang related charges.  The 17-year-old was booked in Juvenile Hall for the same charges, plus possession of a firearm. 

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Robert Miller at 758-7954, or email at: [email protected]

Contact 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

Commander Stan Cooper Retirement

Release Date/Time: 4/29/2020 10:25 PM
Incident: Commander Stan Cooper Retirement
Date: Wednesday, 4/29/2020
Time: 10:25 PM

Commander Stan Cooper was born and raised in Salinas, graduating Palma High School and later attending Hartnell College.  He was hired by the Salinas Police Department in April 1990, attending and graduating the Gavilan Police Academy that summer. 

Over the course of his career, Commander Cooper has worked several different assignments across all three Divisions; Patrol, Investigations, and Administration.  Stan worked many rotations through Salinas Police gang units.  As an officer, he was a member of the Special Enforcement Team and was a founding member of the Violence Suppression Unit.  He was also assigned to patrol.  Stan promoted to Police Corporal in 1999.

As a Corporal, he was assigned to patrol and worked as a Field Training Officer (FTO).  Stan rotated into the Investigations Bureau in 2001 as a Detective working persons crimes and homicide.  He promoted to Police Sergeant in 2001.

As a Sergeant, Stan supervised patrol, Personnel and Training, and was a founding member of the Monterey County Joint Gang Task Force where he supervised a multi-agency team responsible for gang enforcement, intervention, and anti-gang education throughout Monterey County.  He also spent brief periods of time supervising the Field Training Program and the Investigations Bureau.  Stan promoted to Police Commander in 2011.

That same year, Commander Cooper was tasked with merging the existing Gang Task Force with the newly created Monterey County Narcotics/Violent Crimes Task Force, which combined both the Salinas Police Department and Monterey County Sherriff's narcotics units.  With this new collaboration, Stan led the build out of the Law Enforcement Operations Center (LEOC), a stand-alone investigations center, housing investigators from ATF, CHP, DEA, FBI, and HSI.   This team later became an arm of Northern California's High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) South Bay Metro Task Force.  In 2013, Stan oversaw Monterey County's largest wiretap gang investigation, 'Operation Snake Eyes.”  He also worked as the patrol Watch Commander and managed the Field Training Program, K-9 unit, and served as both North and South Salinas Area Commander. 

2016 brought Stan back to the Investigations Bureau as the Investigations Commander.  It was during this time that he made his interest in helping with a new police facility known.  A new building had long been promised.  That interest led to his selection as Project Manager, a position he originally held collaterally while working as the Investigations Commander.  He was assigned to project management full time in 2018.  The opening of the new police building has been his greatest and most rewarding challenge of his career. Police Chief Frese stated, 'Commander Cooper immersed himself fully to our new building project. It was quickly apparent that his goal was to stretch every dollar of the project to create an environment that would serve the members of the police department and the community for decades to come. His coordination, attention to detail, and management, is the reason we now have a highly functional building in which we are all proud to work and have endless possibilities for community engagement.”

During his years of service Commander Cooper has held a number of collateral duties, to include Firearms Instructor/Lead Rangemaster, SWAT, Board Member for the Salinas Police Officers Association, Vice-President of the Salinas Police Managers Association and Police Academy Instructor. He has received numerous awards and accommodations throughout the years to include the Monterey County Peace Officers Association's Award of Merit, and the Salinas Police Department Distinguished Service Award.

In addition to his police service, Stan has volunteered his time with the Police Activities League, AT&T Pro-Am, Salinas Airshow, and the Salinas High School Mountain Bike Team.  Stan and his wife (Vicki) of 27 years plan to remain in the area. Their daughter is currently attending college in Washington State.

 

Attempted Murder and Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Release Date/Time: 4/28/2020 11:31 AM
Incident:Attempted Murder and Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Date: Monday, 4/27/2020
Time: 5:45 PM
Location:500 Block of Leslie Dr.

Attempted Murder and Assault with Deadly Weapon

On 4-27-2020 at 5:45 PM, officers responded to a disturbance with a possible victim of a stabbing in the 500 block of Leslie Dr. After officers contacted all parties involved, they were able to determine there were two male victims suffering non- life-threatening stab wounds. Alejandro Arias (23) and Miguel Saucedo (21)

The investigation revealed there were four individuals drinking at the residence on Leslie Dr. when Arias and his girlfriend began to argue, and the argument turned physical with Arias punching his girlfriend in the mouth. Saucedo and a juvenile (17) who was present took exception and began to argue with Arias,

Then, Arias and Saucedo began to fight each other and during the confrontation they both grabbed knives from the kitchen and stabbed each other. Arias suffered a stab wound to his arm and abdomen. Saucedo had a stab wound to his hand.

During the fight, Saucedo was getting the worst of it as Arias had him in a choke hold, so the juvenile intervened by arming herself with a knife and she proceeded to stab Arias in the thigh area causing Arias to release Saucedo. Saucedo and the juvenile were able to leave the residence and Saucedo drove off at a high rate of speed.

Saucedo was pulled over in the area of Trinity Way and Sutter and officers were able to connect this stop with the incident on Leslie Dr. Saucedo was arrested without incident. A search of the vehicle after his arrest revealed a semi-automatic handgun.

After everything was said and done, Miguel Saucedo was booked on the possession of weapon charge and a warrant request will be forwarded to district attorney on an assault with deadly weapon charge.

A warrant request will be forwarded to juvenile probation seeking a charge of assault with a deadly weapon on the juvenile (17).

Alejandro Arias was admitted to the hospital for his injuries which are non-life threatening and he will subsequently be arrested for domestic violence, attempted murder and child endangerment charges. There was a child present during this incident.

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

Brandishing a Firearm, Possession of Meth and Violation of Shelter in Place Order Arrest

Release Date/Time: 4/23/2020 11:50 AM
Incident:Brandishing a Firearm, Possession of Meth and Violation of Shelter in Place Order Arrest
Date: Wednesday, 4/22/2020
Time: 6:25 PM
Location:1200 Block of Davis Rd.

Brandishing a Firearm, Possession of Meth and Violation of Shelter in Place Order Arrest

On 4-22-2020 at 6:25 pm, officers responded to a 911 call of a brandishing of a handgun in the 1200 block of Davis Rd. The victim reported the occupant of a red Nissan Altima had brandished a handgun at him for unknown reasons as he drove northbound on Davis Rd.

The victim provided a direction of travel and suspect description, officers located the suspect as it entered the Wal Mart parking lot. The driver, Alfredo Montes, (35) was, identified and subsequently arrested. Inside his red Nissan Altima, officers found a replica Glock 19 handgun, a meth pipe and 12 gm of meth. Montes, a gang member, is on felony probation.

Montes was transported to the Monterey County jail and booked on charges of brandishing a firearm, possession of meth, probation violation and violation of the shelter in place order.

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

Attempted Murder

Release Date/Time: 4/20/2020 2:35 PM
Incident:Attempted Murder
Date: Monday, 4/20/2020
Time: 9:31 AM
Location:100 Block of Orchard Ave.

Attempted Murder

On 4-20-2020 at approximately 9:31 hrs., officers responded to a ShotSpotter activation in the area of the 100 block of Orchard Ave. with multiple gunshots detected.  At about the same time, officers were advised that a male victim was being driven to the hospital by private vehicle. It was later determined the victim's wound was not life threatening.

Officers contacted the victim (23) and were able to determine he had driven to the area of Orchard Ave. to drop off a friend. The victim stepped out of his vehicle near the friend's residence and observed a 08-10 silver Honda Civic occupied by several male individuals was driving towards him.

The Honda accelerated towards the victim then stopped, one of the occupants exited the vehicle and pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired several rounds at the victim who dove to the ground. The victim was struck once in the back. The armed suspect was described as a Hispanic male adult, heavy set and wearing a black hoodie. The vehicle sped away from the area. No further information is available at this time as the investigation continues.

Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to contact 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:Miguel Cabrera
Telephone:758-7289

Officer Involved Shooting **Update**

Release Date/Time: 4/19/2020 2:33 PM
Incident: Officer Involved Shooting **Update**
Date: Sunday, 4/19/2020
Time: 9:25 PM
Location: 800 Block of Amarillo Way

On April 18, 2020, at approximately 9:25 PM, Officers responded to the 800 block of Amarillo Way to a call of two men fighting with the occupants of the home. The caller also said one of the men had brandished a knife and attacked some of the tenants. Officers arrived at the home and began gathering information and relocating the occupants to a safer part of the house.

Officers soon located the two men, 22-year-old Felipe Mateo and 38-year-old Juan Mateo, in the poorly lit tight space of the back yard and gave instructions in Spanish and English. While attempting to restrain Felipe Mateo, Juan Mateo attacked the officers with a metal object and the officer involved shooting occurred. The officers deployed Tasers and were able to incapacitate Juan Mateo and arrest both men. No one was shot, and no officers were injured.

Both men were booked into County Jail. Juan Mateo was booked on charges of Assault With A Deadly Weapon, Assault With A Deadly Weapon On A Peace Officer, Resisting Arrest and Obstruction. Felipe Mateo was booked for felony Child Endangerment and Resisting Arrest.

This incident is being investigated by the Salinas Police Department and is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Ruben Sanchez: (831) 758-7927, or email: [email protected] or 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

Officer Involved Shooting

Release Date/Time: 4/19/2020 1:10 AM
Incident: Officer Involved Shooting
Date: Sunday, 4/19/2020
Time: 9:25 PM
Location: 800 Block of Amarillo Way

Salinas Police Officers responded to a call of two men fighting with the occupants of a home on the 800 block of Amarillo Way. One of the men was threatening the occupants with a knife. The officers located the suspects in the back yard and an officer involved shooting occurred. Neither suspect was shot, and no officers were injured.

This investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Ruben Sanchez: (831) 758-7927, or email: [email protected] or 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/ Robbery - Arrest

Release Date/Time: 4/16/2020 9:32 AM
Incident: Shooting/Attempted Murder/Robbery - Arrest
Date: Thursday, 4/15/2020
Time: 1:31 PM
Location: 1700 Block of Humboldt Drive

On 4/14/20, Officers responded to reports of gunshots at an apartment complex located on the 300 block of Casentini Street. On arrival, they found the front door to an apartment had been kicked open. Officers entered the apartment and found it empty, but they found nine 9 mm spent bullet casings on the patio. The officers searched the area and located the uninjured victims. One of the victims, a 22-year-old man, told officers he and a friend were inside his apartment when he heard a knock at the front door. He looked out the window and saw a man dressed all in black wearing a black mask. He was scared and decided not to open the door. About 30 seconds later he heard someone kicking the door, so he and his friend ran to the patio, jumped the fence, and ran. He then heard multiple gunshots as both victims ran from the area but neither of them where hit.

Patrol officers searching the area for evidence located a nearby security camera. The video showed a possible suspect vehicle, a silver 2017 Dodge Charger entering the apartment complex. Two males, one of which matching the description provided by the victim, could be seen on video running and getting into the vehicle after throwing what appear to be bags into the passenger compartment.

On 4/15/20, detectives conducted follow-up investigation on this case and authored a search warrant for the suspect's residence on the 1700 block of Humboldt Drive. The suspects were placed under surveillance by VSTF and detectives while the search warrant was obtained and while the SWAT team responded with aerial support from the CHP.

As the SWAT Team was pulling up to the home, one of the men at the suspect residence came out of the home and walked to the suspect vehicle while holding his waistband. The SWAT Team surrounded the residence and peacefully arrested Jose Amezcua (18), and a 16-year-old juvenile. Detectives served the warrant and located a hidden and loaded .40 caliber handgun and a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. Detectives also located additional evidence implicating the suspects in the drug and gang related robbery. Amezcua was booked in County Jail on charges of Attempted Murder, Robbery, Conspiracy, and gang related charges. The 16-year-old juvenile was placed in Juvenile Hall on the same charges.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call Detective Robber Miller at 758-7954, or email at: [email protected]

Contact 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

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Question of the Day

What can I do if I see a car parked in my neighborhood which I think may be abandoned?

The City of Salinas has people specifically designated to handle abandoned vehicles and long-term parking problems. These problems are generally handled on a complaint basis. The abandoned vehicle office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. The phone number, day or night, is (831) 758-7316.

The following information will help you determine whether or not a vehicle has been abandoned or is a long-term parking problem:

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