General Crime

Three Norteno gang members arrested after a DUI driver led police on a pursuit in Watsonville

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Three Norteno gang members were arrested after a DUI driver led police on a pursuit Wednesday night from unincorporated Monterey County into Watsonville, sheriff’s deputies said. At about 8:50 p.m. on Wednesday, a Monterey County sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull over the driver of a green 1992 Cadillac near Porter Drive and San Juan Road in Monterey County, according to Deputy J. Sullivan.

The driver of the Cadillac came close to colliding with oncoming traffic and the deputy suspected the driver of being under the influence, Sullivan said. According to the deputy, the driver failed to yield and headed toward the city of Watsonville. The driver led the deputy on a pursuit. While speeds did not reach above 35 mph, the driver nearly collided with several other vehicles, Sullivan said.

The deputy followed the driver into Watsonville and the chase ended when the driver turned into an apartment complex parking lot that was a dead end. Deputies identified the driver as 26-year-old Watsonville resident Bernardo Medina, a known member of the Norteno gang. He was taken into custody without further incident, according to Sullivan.

Medina was wearing a bulletproof vest when he was arrested and had two other occupants in the vehicle. The two other occupants admitted to being Norteno gang members as well, Sullivan said. Medina was found to be driving under the influence and driving on a license that had been previously suspended for DUI, deputies said.

The two other occupants of the vehicle were found to be on probation and were also arrested. The three occupants of the Cadillac were booked into Monterey County Jail for charges including gang enhancements, kidnapping, false imprisonment, reckless evading, violation of probation, driving under the influence and a minor in possession of alcohol, Sullivan said.

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