Santa Barbara County – As if the City of Santa Maria doesn’t already have more than its share of gang-related criminal activity, on the afternoon of Saturday July 19th, Marcello Teofilo Alvarez, a 35 year-old Salinas resident and documented gang member in that community, engaged in enough nefarious behavior to earn him a bunk in the Santa Barbara County Jail.
According to Santa Maria Police Department spokesman Sgt. Terry Flaa, Alvarez was the subject of a law enforcement traffic stop in the early afternoon, but rather than conduct himself in what every law-abiding citizen would consider appropriate behavior in that situation (hands on the steering wheel, roll your window down, take a deep breath, and remember the manners your mother taught you), Alvarez “got out of the vehicle and made several furtive movements before getting back into the driver’s seat.”
The approaching patrol officer, suspicions certainly aroused somewhat by Alvarez’s actions, suddenly found himself on the defense as Alvarez promptly put his car into reverse gear and backed right at the man with the badge, smashing into the police black-and-white behind him. As the cop dove for cover, Alvarez whipped his car around and drove off.
The officer quickly pursued, but Alvarez “collided with a parked vehicle a short distance away,” Flaa reported. At that point, Alvarez alighted form his car and took off on foot—a tactic that works well in TV cop shows, but has a dismal IRL (in real life) success rate. As Alvarez was subdued and taken into custody, officers found a female passenger in his vehicle who indicated that she had expressly demanded to be released from the car during the short pursuit.
The ensuing investigation of Alvarez’s vehicle revealed a loaded firearm, ammunition, and an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine. Pursuant to the extent and nature of the evidence gathered at the scene, Alvarez was transported to the Santa Barbara County Jail where he was booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, drug possession, and activities pursuant to the interests of a criminal street gang, all of which earned him the distinction of having his bail set at $1,200,000.00.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
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