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