Press Releases

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.

Suspect Arrested for Bank Robbery and Attempted Murder of a Police Officer

Release Date/Time: 12/18/2019 1:20 PM
Incident: Suspect Arrested for Bank Robbery and Attempted Murder of a Police Officer
Date: Tuesday, 12/17/2019
Location: Yuma, AZ

Suspect Arrested for Bank Robbery and Attempted Murder of a Police Officer

 Yuma, Ariz. – On December 17, 2019, based on investigative information provided by the Salinas Police Department, Joel Torres was captured by members of the U.S. Marshals Service led Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force and the Yuma Police Department. Torres was wanted on the charge of attempted murder of a police officer stemming from a bank robbery that occurred in Pleasanton on 02/08/19. During the bank robbery suspects fired on a responding police officer.

 'A dangerous fugitive who has shown his disregard for public safety and intent to harm those sworn to protect the community is in custody. This arrest is the direct result of the coordination between federal and local law enforcement agencies,” said District of Arizona U.S. Marshal David Gonzales.

 'This is just another example of nationwide collaboration between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.  You can run, but you can't hide,” said Marshal Donald O'Keefe from the District of Northern California.

 In February of this year Joel Torres, and three others armed with AK-47 style rifles, allegedly robbed a bank in Pleasanton, California. Police responded and gave chase to the bank robber's vehicle. Torres is alleged to have fired his rifle through the rear window of the fleeing vehicle, striking the pursuing police car. The officer driving the police car was not hurt, but the police vehicle was rendered inoperable due to the damage caused by the barrage of bullets hitting it.  It is believed Torres then fled to the Yuma area hoping to seek refuge.  Torres is an active Norteño gang member from Salinas and has an extensive criminal history to include burglary, robbery, drug charges and most recently armed bank robbery and attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. In light of this information, the U.S. Marshals Service-Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Taskforce was asked to assist with locating and arresting Torres.

            Based on investigative information recently provided by the Salinas Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service WANTED Violent Offender Task Force, along with partner law enforcement agencies, located Torres at a residence in the vicinity of 12th Street and Avenue D in Yuma. When officers arrived at the residence, Torres ran out the back door and jumped over several walls into adjacent backyards. He was ultimately taken into custody after attempting to exit a neighbor's property. Torres was booked in at the Yuma County Jail on the charge of attempted murder of a police officer.

 The Salinas Police Department continues to work in collaboration with local, state, and federal partners to include the FBI and US Marshals.

The Arizona-WANTED Violent Offender Task Force and the California-Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Taskforce are both U.S. Marshal Service led multi-jurisdictional fugitive apprehension units Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at: www.usmarshals.gov.

 

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

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving: Take a Sober Ride Home This Holiday Season

Release Date/Time: 12/12/2019 9:47 AM
Incident:Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving: Take a Sober Ride Home This Holiday Season
Date: Holiday Season
Location:City of Salinas

Salinas Police Department is reminding everyone who plans to drink to plan on getting a sober ride home. This holiday season, and every day, the safest way to drive is when you are sober.To help people get to holiday parties and seasonal travel destinations safely, Salinas Police Department will have extra officers on patrol during the holidays looking for drivers who are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The enforcement efforts are part of a national enforcement campaign to discourage impaired driving. 'We want everyone to enjoy the holidays and being responsible plays a major part in that,” said Public Information Officer, Miguel Cabrera said. 'The danger is clear so before you head out for a party, make sure you have a safe way to get home.”

Alcohol is not the only thing that affects your driving ability. Prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and marijuana can also impair, especially in combination with alcohol and other drugs. So, if you plan on drinking or taking drugs that can impair, play it safe and have a designated sober driver.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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

Officer Involved Shooting

Release Date/Time: 12/12/2019 1:28 AM
Incident: Officer Involved Shooting
Date: Thursday, 12/12/2019
Time: 1:28 AM
Location: Old Stage Rd

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

On 12/11/19, at 8:24 PM, the Salinas Police Department was involved in a vehicle pursuit of a man suspected of committing a recent attempted murder. During the pursuit the suspect fired a gun at officers.The pursuit continued outside the Salinas city limits near Old Stage Road. When the suspect vehicle stopped, the driver again opened fire at officers.  Several officers returned fire and struck the suspect.  Suspect was transported to a medical facility and is in critical condition.

The District Attorney's office is conducting the investigation concerning the shooting.

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

Salinas Police Awarded Traffic Education and Enforcement Grant From the OTS

Release Date/Time: 12/11/2019 1:23 PM
Incident:Salinas Police Awarded Traffic Education and Enforcement Grant From the OTS
Date: Wednesday, 12/11/2019
Time: 1:23 PM
Location:City of Salinas

                                                                                        Salinas Police Awarded Traffic Education and Enforcement Grant From the OTS

The Salinas Police Department received a $120,000.00 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a one-year enforcement and education program. The money will fund various activities intended to reduce deaths and injuries on California roads.'The money provided by this grant will greatly benefit our community. It will allow us to conduct more traffic enforcement and make the City of Salinas a safer place,” said Traffic Sergeant Robert Hampson. The grant-related activities are for the 2020 federal fiscal year, which runs from now until Sept. 30, 2020.

The funding from the OTS will be used for numerous programs, including:

          DUI/driver's license checkpoints.

          Patrols specifically looking for suspected alcohol and/or drug-impaired drivers.

          Patrols targeting violations of California's hands-free cell phone law and vehicle code violations by drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians that put other roadway users at risk.

          Patrols targeting the primary causes of crashes: Speeding, improper turns, running stop signs or signals, right-of-way violations and driving on the wrong side of the road.

       Patrols specifically looking for seat belt and child safety seat violations.

       Traffic safety education presentations for youth and community members on distracted and impaired driving, bicycle and pedestrian safety.

       Creating 'Hot Sheets” identifying repeat DUI offenders.

       Officer training to identify suspected impaired drivers and conduct sobriety tests.

'Getting in a vehicle remains one of the most dangerous things we do,” OTS director Barbara Rooney said. 'We must continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to shift that realization and make traveling on our roads safer.”

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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

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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,...

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