Suspect Was Involved in a Three Car Collision
SALINAS—One of the reasons that the Police will sometimes terminate a pursuit is out of concern for the public’s safety. On Tuesday night, even though the pursuit was terminated, three innocent bystanders still had to be taken to local hospitals as the result of reckless action by a probationary suspect.
On Tuesday, August 18 at about 5 pm, Salinas police stopped a black and gray Mustang at the intersection of Work Street and South Sanborn Road. A license check came back to the officers that the driver, Leo Anthony Castro, 36 of Salinas, was on probation.
When one officer informed Castro that his vehicle was going to be searched as a condition of his probation, Castro thought he had a better idea. His great idea was to get back into his car and drive away. As Castro got back into his car, one officer fired his Taser but it missed its mark and was rendered ineffective.
A short pursuit ensued as Castro drove away from the traffic stop. The pursuit was terminated after officers lost sight of Castro and his black Mustang. Police began to search for the car in the Southeast area of Salinas.
Eventually another officer came across a large crash scene at the intersection of John and Front Streets that involved the familiar black and gray Mustang. An investigation revealed that Castro had approached the intersection at a high-rate of speed heading northbound on Abbott Street, when he collided with a car that was making a left turn. He careened off the first car and hit a pick-up truck that was waiting to turn left.
The force of the hit sent the pick-up truck backwards some 40 feet. Castro’s Mustang hit the pick-up truck so hard that the momentum carried his car into a third car that was also stopped at the red light. The female driver of that car had to be extricated from the vehicle.
Castro himself was ejected from his car though the passenger side window. Even through all that, Castro still attempted to get away, but due to his injuries he was unable. He was taken to a local trauma center for unspecified injuries.
Castro has been charged with several felonies including felony evading resulting in injury, and violation of probation.
According to court records, Leo Castro was arrested in August of 2012 with his wife. He had used an Airsoft pistol to rob a man of money and credit cards, whom his wife had lured to a Salinas hotel room with a promise of sex. It was determined that their motivation was to pay for the room for another night, since they were homeless. The Castros had three children, who were reportedly in the stairwell, not the room during the robbery. Police also found methamphetamine pipes in the room and his car, along with additional stolen identification items. Castro was convicted of grand theft and misdemeanor probation violations. He reportedly served an additional 180 days in jail and was released on probation.
Since that incident, he was arrested once again, in June of last year, for a bicycle equipment violation and resisting arrest. No details of that incident were available.