A Salinas teen was convicted Thursday of robbery, threatening a police officer and threatening the officer’s family, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office said today. The jury also found that Ruben Prado Quiroz, 18, committed the crimes to further the Norteno street gang and used a knife during the robbery, the district attorney’s office said. The jury deliberated for just two hours before convicting Quiroz of the July 16 incident. A 17-year-old boy was supervising younger kids playing soccer outside his church and talking on his cell phone when Quiroz and two minors surrounded the boy, the district attorney’s office said. Quiroz then flashed a gang sign and asked the boy, “Do you bang?” the victim testified, according to the district attorney’s office. When the victim said he was not a gang member, Quiroz pulled out a knife. He unfolded the blade and pointed it at the victim before demanding his cell phone, according to the district attorney’s office. The victim hesitated but saw one of Quiroz’s associates reaching for his waistband. He handed over the phone, and the three teens ran away, the district attorney’s office said. The victim then borrowed a phone and called 911, and police found the suspects three blocks away. Quiroz discarded the knife, and one of his associates tried to hide the victim’s cell phone on a pay phone shelf. While Quiroz was being arrested, he threatened to kill the transporting officer and his family, the district attorney’s office said. Quiroz will be sentenced on Nov. 18 and faces up to 18 years in prison.
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