Ventura County – Applicants for Driver’s Licenses at any State of California DMV office are frequently faced with the daunting challenge of passing a written examination that purports to test one’s abilities behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while traveling on our public thoroughfares. Upon a most recent review of the DMV Driver’s Handbook, however, nowhere is there a mention of the need to be wary of our fellow motorists who just happen to be driving around with loaded guns in plain sight.
It may be time for some edits to the Driver’s Handbook to that effect, if the allegations leading to the arrest of 22-year-old Juan Alvarez prove to be true. It was in the middle of the evening on November 19th when Alvarez, driving a car carrying three other juvenile males through the busy streets of downtown Oxnard, was pulled over by a patrol unit of the Oxnard Police Department pursuant to a citizen call reporting occupants of a car with a description matching that of Alvarez’s vehicle as brandishing firearms for the appreciation of other motorists.
According to OPD Commander Christopher Williams’ report to the media, responding officers observing the suspect vehicle “conducted a traffic stop and contacted the occupants.” As officers approached Alvarez behind the wheel of his car, they observed “in plain view” both a homemade “zip gun” and another handgun. One can only imagine the reaction of the patrol officers at that time, as it quickly led to the arrest of all four occupants, including the only non-juvenile among the group, Alvarez.
All four suspects were then transported to the Oxnard Police Department for further investigation which ultimately led to Alvarez earning a trip to Ventura County Jail, with one of the juveniles being transported to Ventura County Juvenile Hall. Both were charged with multiple firearms and weapons violations, while the other two juveniles were released “pending further investigation.”