SANTA ROSA – According to a Community Bulletin issued by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, three county probation officers were working a special enforcement detail in the southwest area of Santa Rosa on Wednesday, January 28th at about 3:30 p.m.
The officers had observed a Honda occupied by Sureno gang members driving slowly on Barbara Drive. The car had been driving along side of a male wearing a red hat who was walking along the sidewalk. When the male in the red hat noticed the vehicle shadowing him he suddenly bolted and ran in the opposite direction of the car. The car accelerated away and stopped near the intersection of Eddy Drive and Robin Way.
A deputy stopped the Honda to investigate what had just transpired between the vehicle and the pedestrian. As he approached the vehicle he saw the three men within and then had eye contact with the driver in the mirror, who then sped off, squealing the tires as he left the scene. The car sped through the neighborhood at about 60 mph and blew through stop signs on Moorland Avenue.
Additional deputies came into the area to assist as the car continued speeding through intersections on Standish Avenue to Todd Road. Eventually the driver stopped in the 500 block of Todd Road. Deputies shut down the entire roadway as the occupants were detained in handcuffs.
All three of the males were dressed in blue Sureno gang attire, had gang tattoos and paraphernalia on them. The men gave varying statements about their collective intent and individual actions.
When deputies searched the car they saw a handgun in plain view, directly in the center of the console and readily accessible to anyone inside. The gun was found to be cocked and loaded with a live round in the chamber. A switchblade knife was also found in the driver’s side door handle.
The suspect driver has been identified as 19-year-old Erick Canseco-Lopez of Petaluma. Lopez is an unlicensed driver and has active arrest warrants. He was arrested and booked for recklessly evading arrest in a vehicle, possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle, active participation in a criminal street gang, possessing a switchblade knife, gang enhancement, driving without a valid driver’s license and other outstanding warrants. His bail has been set at $50,000. Canseco-Lopez had three other recent arrests – In August last year he was charged with hit-and-run resulting in property damage and driving without a license. Then in September he was arrested for street terrorism, related to gang activity. In December he was charged again for driving without a license, and under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
One suspect passenger has been identified as 22-year-old Martin Rodriguez of Santa Rosa. He was arrested and booked into Sonoma County Jail for possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, active participation in a criminal street gang, gang enhancement and for having an outstanding arrest warrant for assaulting a peace officer and for carrying a loaded firearm.
A third suspect was a local 17-year-old juvenile who is on active probation, the terms of which prohibited him from associating with gang members. He was arrested for possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, active participation in a criminal street gang, gang enhancement and for violating the terms of his probation. He was transported and booked into Juvenile Hall.
The male wearing the red hat who fled on Barbara Drive after the occupants of the vehicle brandished a gun has not been identified or located. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Investigations Tip Line at 707-565-2185. A message can be left anonymously.