VENTURA – Just after midnight on January 18th, a Ventura City Police patrol officer instigated a Vehicle Code traffic stop which devolved into a foot chase and the discovery of illegal firearms.
According to VPD Media Relations Officer Capt. Mike Aranda, as the suspect vehicle came to a halt on the shoulder of the southbound U.S. 101 at Johnson Drive, “the rear seat passenger exited the vehicle and ran down the offramp.” At that point, “the circumstances warranted execution of a high-risk stop,” Aranda said in statements to the media this morning, indicating that the patrol officer withdrew his firearm and then “removed three individuals from the vehicle.” Two females and one male were detained while responding patrol unit officers searched the car and discovered a sawed-off shotgun on the rear floorboard of the vehicle.
Simultaneously, other responding patrol units observed Sergio Contreras, 30, running on foot across the premises of Tuff Shed, a local purveyor of prefabricated storage units. “Additional backup was called in,” Aranda explained, and Contreras was soon found hiding in one of the storage units. “He resisted forcefully and after fighting with officers he was subdued,” Aranda said. Contreras was placed under arrest, treated at Ventura County Medical Center for injuries pursuant to doing battle with police, and was booked into Ventura County Jail on charges of Felon in Possession of Firearm, and Resisting Arrest with Street Gang Enhancement.
Also taken into custody was the driver of the vehicle, Gilbert Lemos, 31, a current parolee. He was booked into Ventura County Jail on charges of Felon in Possession of Firearm with Street Gang Enhancement.
Contreras has a demonstrated and notorious history in the area, having been arrested in December 2011 on charges of vehicle evading, resisting arrest, and violation of gang injunctions imposed within Ventura County.
Photo: courtesy Ventura County Sheriff
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