General Crime

* Jose Patino, Ernest Cruz and Francisco Ruiz Alleged Gang Members Arrested Salinas

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Three men who are suspected gang members were arrested in Salinas Friday afternoon after one of them allegedly pointed a shotgun at two victims, police said. Shortly after 4:50 p.m., police responded to a report that a shotgun was pointed at victims outside a home in the 800 block of Garner Avenue. The victims said that a suspect in a burgundy GMC Yukon pointed a shotgun at them, and that the Yukon was followed by a blue Honda that seemed to be containing associates, according to police.  While a police officer was talking to the victims, the blue Honda,  driven by 25-year-old Francisco Ruiz, drove by the home again. The officer got in his patrol car and pursued the Honda for four minutes until it stopped in the 1000 block of Garner Avenue, police said. Ruiz fled on foot from the car but was eventually arrested in the yard of a nearby home, according to police. A Salinas police officer injured his knee during the foot pursuit. The officer was treated for his injury at a local hospital and later released, police said. Shortly after Ruiz was arrested, the Yukon was spotted at
Constitution Boulevard and Freedom Parkway. The driver, 30-year-old Jose Patino, and Ernest Cruz, the 20-year-old passenger, were arrested. The two men were both identified by the victims as being involved in the shotgun incident, police said. No weapons were discovered during the investigation. The three suspects are all believed to be Sureno gang members. Patino and Cruz were booked into county jail on suspicion of exhibiting a firearm and criminal conspiracy. Ruiz was booked on suspicion of felony evading from police and other driving violations, police said.

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