Press Releases

Hit and Run with Serious Injury

Release Date/Time: 1/14/2020 1:49 PM
Incident:Hit and Run With Serious Injury
Date: Monday, 1/13/2020
Time: 9:31 AM
Location:22 Stone St.

On Monday 1-13-2020 at approximately 9:31 hrs., SPD officers responded to a hit and run collision with serious injury in the area on Sacred Heart Church at 22 Stone St. Two women ages 90 and 68 were struck by a silver colored Suburban traveling in a northbound direction which continued to drive without making any attempt to stop. This suspect vehicle was last seen turning onto W, Market St from Stone St.

The two victims were transported to Natividad Medical Center suffering serious injuries. As of today, the 68-year-old victim has been released from the hospital and the 90-year-old victim is still in serious but stable condition.

 The investigation, including valuable information from community members, have led us to identify the suspect driver as Luis Enrique Gomez (58). Gomez is arrestable for the hit and run with serious injury and driving on a suspended license.

Attached is a photo of suspect Gomez, the Chevrolet Suburban he was driving has a partial CA license plate of 7GAL. These image was captured yesterday in the area of 22 Stone St.

Salinas PD is asking for the public's help in locating suspect Gomez and/or the vehicle.  Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to contact Salinas PD at 831 758-7321. If you wish to remain anonymous, you may contact our Tip line at 831 775-4222

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

Fatal Traffic Collision

Release Date/Time: 1/11/2020 9:29 AM
Incident:Fatal Traffic Collision
Date: Saturday, 1/11/2020
Time: 12.55 AM
Location: N. Davis Rd and Auto Center Cir/ South Entrance

Release Authorized by: Commander M. Maldonado
Telephone: 831-758-7250

On 1-11-2020 at 12:55 am, Salinas Police officers responded to a report of a vehicle roll over collision at N. Davis Rd and Auto Center Circle. Once on scene, officers located a Mitsubishi Montero on its roof near the intersection. Several occupants were outside of the vehicle and advised the officers there was still a juvenile trapped in the vehicle. The ambulance crew arrived on scene and determined the juvenile (15) was deceased.

The other four occupants of the vehicle also sustained injuries. The driver, a 15-year-old juvenile suffered a head injury, Josselyn Basillo (18) suffered a head injury and general complaint of pain, a 13-year-old passenger complained of leg pain, and another 15-year-old passenger complained of neck pain.

The driver and surviving passengers were transported to Natividad Medical Center for treatment. The 13-year-old with leg pain was eventually transported to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for further treatment.

It appears that the vehicle was traveling at a speed too fast to safely negotiate the curve of N Davis Road. The driver lost control of the vehicle, rolling onto its roof. The investigation is ongoing.

Computer Forensic Vehicle Grant Award

Release Date/Time: 1/9/2020 4:30 PM
Incident: Computer Forensic Vehicle Grant Award
Date: Thursday, 1/9/2020
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: Salinas Police Department

The Salinas Police Department is excited to announce the City of Salinas has been awarded a $200,000 grant subaward to procure a regional mobile computer forensic vehicle as part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). The Silicon Valley (San Jose PD) ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force Program is a task force organized under the aegis of the National ICAC Task Force. The program is currently composed of 61 regional Task Force agencies and is funded by the United States Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has awarded Internet Crimes Against Children grant funds to the City of San Jose. The City of San Jose has agreed to allocate a grant subaward to the City of Salinas in the amount of $200,000 to procure a regional mobile forensic vehicle as part of the ICAC Task Force. 

ICAC helps state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and Internet crimes against children. This help encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, and community education.

The ICAC program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet and other technology, the proliferation of child sexual abuse images available electronically, and the heightened online activity by predators seeking unsupervised contact with potential underage victims. Because ICAC members understand that arrests alone cannot resolve the problem of technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation, the ICAC program is also dedicated to training law enforcement officers and prosecutors, as well as educating parents and youth about the potential dangers of online activity.

The Mobile Forensic Vehicle shall be designed to specifications and has not yet been built. The total purchase price of the vehicle with equipment and installation shall not exceed $200,000.

This grant reflects the continuing commitment of the Salinas Police Department to work with local, state, and federal partners to prevent crime, improve service to crime victims and their families, and our entire community.

 

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

Homicide Victim Identification

Release Date/Time: 12/30/2019 6:01 PM
Incident: Homicide Victim Identification
Date: Monday, 12/30/2019
Time: 6:01 PM
Location: 700 Block of Garner Ave.

Officers of the Salinas Police Department responded to a shooting on December 19, 2019, at approximately 8:42 pm, at the entrance to the trailer park of 704 Garner Ave. and the dead end of Gee St. When officers arrived, they found 27-year-old Esteban Elias Echeverria of Salinas in his vehicle, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Officers and medical personnel provided aid to the victim, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. There had been another person in the vehicle with Echeverria at the time of the shooting. He was able to escape injury and once out of the area, contacted police about what had happened.

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information on the incident to call Detective Ruben Sanchez at (831) 758-7927 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: Christopher Lane, Investigations Sergeant
Telephone:831-758-7496

Officer Involved Shooting

Release Date/Time: 12/29/2019 11:29 PM
Incident: Officer Involved Shooting
Date: Sunday, 12/29/2019
Time: 11:29 PM
Location: 400 Block North Madeira

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Brian Johnson
Telephone: 831-758-7280

Salinas Police officers responded to the report of a vehicle that drove through Laurel Heights Park and crashed into a residence.  A structure fire immediately followed the car crash.  Officers responded to the crash and structure fire and searched for the driver, who had fled.  Sometime shortly thereafter, the officers located the suspect and an officer involved shooting occurred.  Suspect was shot and eventually transported to a medical facility for treatment and is in critical condition.  No officers were injured. 

The District Attorney's office is conducting the investigation concerning the shooting.  All inquiries should be directed to the District Attorney's Office.

Anyone with information, or questions related to the investigation, is encouraged to call the Monterey County District Attorney's Office at (831) 755-5070.

Robbery Arrest - SWAT Standoff

Release Date/Time: 12/27/2019 2:47 PM
Incident: Robbery Arrest - SWAT Standoff
Date: Friday, 12/27/2019
Time: 2:47 PM
Location: 400 Block of N. Madeira Ave./ Mayfair Drive

Salinas Police Patrol Officers with the help of VSTF have been investigating an armed robbery that took place at Cesar Chavez Park on 12/12/19. A Patrol Officer conducting the investigation was able to identify two suspects in the robbery who are both active gang members. The officer wrote search warrants for their residences based on the information gather during the investigation. This morning, 12/27/19, SPD SWAT served the search warrants at both locations. The service of the first search warrant on the 400 block of N. Madeira Avenue resulted in an almost 3 hour standoff when the suspect, Saul Virgen (18), attempted to hide in the home. Virgen eventually surrendered when he feared officers were about to locate him and was arrested. During the search officers found an AR-15 rifle, cocaine, pills, marijuana cartridges, sales paraphernalia, and gang indicia.

The second search warrant was served on Mayfair Drive and 18-year-old Diego Cardenas was arrested without incident. During the search officers located ammunition and other evidence.

Both subjects were booked into the Monterey County jail for charges ranging from robbery to narcotics and weapons possession.

 

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

Attempted Homicide by Stabbing Arrest

Release Date/Time: 12/22/2019 1:06 PM
Incident: Attempted Homicide by Stabbing Arrest
Date: Sunday, 12/22/2019
Time: 8:40 AM
Location: E. San Luis St. at Monterey St., Salinas

On December 21, 2019, at approximately 9:40 AM, Salinas Police Officers responded to the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue on a report of a victim of a stabbing. When the officers arrived, they found the 59-year-old victim suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he continues to be listed in critical condition. Witnesses described seeing a male walking from the area wearing a dark colored jacket and blue jeans. He was last seen walking westbound on Clay St. and was believed to be a person of interest in this assault.

Salinas Police Officers and Detectives were able to obtain video surveillance from the crime scene that showed the stabbing and a clear depiction of the suspect's face. From the video, they were able to identify the suspect as 27-year-old Mark Sandoval who was a transient and frequented the services provided by the United Methodist Church. A search for Sandoval was conducted throughout the evening and night. Investigators were also able to coordinate with staff from the church to notify the police department if he were to return.

This morning, staff from the church contacted the Salinas Police Department indicating that Sandoval was back in the area. He was contacted a short distance away and arrested without incident. He was in possession of a stolen loaded handgun as well. He was later booked into Monterey County Jail on numerous charges related to the attempted murder and firearm possession.

This investigation is still ongoing as we continue to collect additional information. If anyone has information regarding this case, please contact Detective Alex Rodriguez at (831) 758-7268; or email him at [email protected]. If you would like to remain anonymous, please contact the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at (831) 775-4222.

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

Attempted Murder - Stabbing

Release Date/Time: 12/21/2019 7:29 PM
Incident: Attempted Murder - Stabbing
Date: Saturday, 12/21/2019
Time: 9:40 AM
Location: 400 block of Lincon Ave.

On December 21, 2019, at approximately 9:40 AM, Salinas Police Officers responded to the 400 block of Lincoln Avenue on a report of a victim of a stabbing. When the officers arrived they found the 59- year old victim suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he is currently listed in critical condition.  Witnessses describe seeing a male walking from the area wearing a dark colored jacket and blue jeans. He was last seen walking westbound on Clay St., and is believed to be a person of interest in this assault.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Detective Sanchez with the Salinas Police Department Investigations Unit at (831) 758-7927. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can also call the Salinas Police Department Tip Line at (831) 775-4222.

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

Promotion and Oath of Office Ceremony

Release Date/Time: 12/18/2019 5:57 PM
Incident:Promotion and Oath of Office Ceremony
Date: Friday, 12/20/2019
Time: 3:15 PM
Location: 100 Howard St.  PAL Building

The Salinas Police Department is celebrating the promotions of two members and the addition of four new officers.  Sgt. Brian Johnson is being promoted to the rank of Police Commander.  Sgt. Johnson has been a member of the department since December 2004. He is currently assigned to the Office of the Chief of Police as the department's Internal Affairs/Professional Standards Sergeant. Officer Gerardo Magana is being promoted to the rank of Police Sergeant.  Officer Magana has been a department member since December 2003. He is currently serving as one of the department's K9 officers.

In addition, four Police Recruits attending the Monterey Peninsula Police Academy are graduating that day and will be sworn in as new Police Officers. The new officers are Juan A. Castro, Brandon Kuschill, Jacob Ragsac and Austin Scaggs. Management Analyst, Tonya Erickson will also be sworn in.

The ceremony will take place Friday, 12/20/2019 at 3:15 pm. PAL Building 100 Howard St.

The public is invited to attend this ceremony.

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

Homicide and Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 12/20/2019 8:20 AM
Incident:  Homicide and Attempted Homicide
Date: Thursday, 12/19/2019
Time: 8:42 PM
Location:  700 Block of Garner Avenue

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

On December 19, 2019, at approximately 8:42 pm, officers responded to the 700 Block of  Garner Avenue to investigate a ShotSpotter activation.  Community members began reporting the gunshots along with information about an associated SUV.  Officers arrived and located the SUV with an unconscious 27-year-old male victim in the driver seat.  He appeared to have at least one gunshot wound to the torso.  Medical personnel provided aid to the victim but could not save him.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.  Just after the shooting, the teenage male passenger was able to exit the SUV and run for help.  He was shaken up by the shooting but uninjured. 

The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone with information on the incident to call Detective Ruben Sanchez at (831) 758-7927 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.

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