Suspect ditched Firearm in Backyard
WATSONVILLE—The Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Task Force arrested known gang participant and Watsonville resident 21-year-old Marcial Arana Castillo after he was spotted by agents driving a vehicle that had a faulty taillight.
On Friday, April 3rd, agents with the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Task Force were patrolling in the area of Freedom Boulevard and South Green Valley Road in Watsonville when they noticed a vehicle driving with a faulty taillight. They noticed that the driver of the vehicle was a documented gang participant who was on probation.
Agents tried to pull over the vehicle on the violation, and they initiated a traffic stop in the area of the Home Depot store on South Green Valley Road. Castillo pulled into the shopping center, however he ignored the officers and passed several parking stalls. He then pulled over, but as he came to a stop, he bolted from the vehicle.
The agents gave chase, and followed Castillo on foot in the area of Loma Prieta Drive and Holly Drive. Officers caught up with Castillo after he took them through a residential obstacle course, jumping over several fences. Castillo was then taken into custody without further incident.
A resident of one of the homes that Castillo ran through called the Watsonville police to report that he had just found a firearm in his backyard. They thanked God that the two children who lived at the residence were not playing in the yard when the incident took place.
Evidence found at the scene and on Castillo led police to charge him with being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm by a gang participant, probation violations, participating in a criminal street gang, and delaying or obstructing a peace officer.
The firearm had been reported stolen two weeks ago in a burglary in the City of Watsonville.
Records show that Castillo was arrested in December of 2013 for burglary, which he was also charged with in March of 2013 and October of 2012.