Police Say That Suspect Admitted To Smoking Meth And Drinking
The Salinas Police Department’s arrest techniques of unwilling suspects comes under question or investigation once again. This time police arrested 28-year-old Jose Velasco, who was seen by officers as they arrived on scene throwing his mother into traffic traveling northbound on the heavily traveled Main Street. After a Cellphone videos surfaced, some are calling the altercation excessive.
According to the Salinas Police Department, on Friday evening, officers were called to the intersection of North Main Street and Bernal Drive because of reports of a man screaming and running into traffic and jumping on cars. There was also a report that he was attempting to throw a woman, who turned out to be his mother, into the busy street.
Once Police arrived at the scene, they witnessed Velasco slam his mother, Rita Ramirez, onto the pavement of the northbound lanes of North Main Street. Acosta had also called the police about his behavior. Concerned about her son, Acosta attempted to grab him, but that’s when he grabbed her and threw her onto the street.
When police attempted to pull Velasco away from his mother, he turned his attention to them, and began to violently resist and attack the officers. At one point during the struggle, Velasco was able to grab a Taser from one of the officers while it was still in its holster and tore it free.
Officers attempted to subdue Velasco by using Tasers, but even two deployments had no apparent effect on him. Other officers were called to the scene to assist in the arrest, as Velasco was still resisting. It took five officers and the use of batons to get him under control so he could be taken in custody.
It is that part of the incident that is coming into question by the general public after a cellphone video was given to a news agency, and went viral on YouTube (see video). In the video, Velasco is seen continually resisting the officers, while they are hitting him with batons. At the end, it seems the hitting continues after he has stopped fighting, though he is partially out of view by then. It should also be noted that it is only one part of the arrest, and not the whole incident.
This incident is still under investigation. Salinas Police Chief McMillan was interviewed about the incident by KSBW, the video of which was also posted on YouTube.
UPDATE 7-1-15: Monterey County District Attorney Dean D. Flippo announced that three charges were filed against Velasco: felony assault likely to produce great bodily injury, felony taking of an officer’s weapon, a taser, while resisting arrest, and misdemeanor assault on one of the firefighters who was there assisting. He is due for formal arraignment on these charges on July 2.
It was also found that none of the officers involved in the arrest of Velasco violated any laws in their use of force against him. The investigation into the force used, including multiple baton strikes, included a careful review of the evidence and independent consultations with two certified instructors in defensive tactics using police batons, stated Flippo. Further details of that investigation, however, could not be released as the facts uncovered may be used in Velasco’s trial, for either side of the case.