SANTA CRUZ — Termites are known for being small and destructive, a comparison not lost on the Santa Cruz County Assistant DA when they handed down a 29-year, 4-month prison sentence unto Pedro Zuniga-Garcia, also known as “Termite.”
Zuniga-Garcia broke down as he learned of his fate. He was sentenced on nine charges that included three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, three counts of active participation in a street gang, two counts of resisting peace officers, and one count of attempted destruction of evidence.
He has led a rather destructive life of crime, dating back to 2008 when he beat a man with a 2×4 for attempting to break up a fight during a party. He and fellow gang members also assaulted another party guest, causing severe head trauma.
His malfeasance continued even after he was in custody. Also in 2008, he got into a physical altercation with Santa Cruz County Jail staff after they discovered he’d been in contact with other gang members on the outside. He and his cellmate both tussled with guards as they tried to retrieve the phone they’d been using.
Termite lashed out again in 2009 after receiving a bail reduction, something to which Santa Cruz County DA’s office objected. In February of that year, while out on bail, he chased down and stabbed a rival gang member in Watsonville.
While being arraigned on that charge, his bail was again reduced, and again the County’s District Attorney’s Office objected. He posted reduced bail and floed to Mexico. He finally returned in 2014 and was arrested by Watsonville Police.
After being taken into custody once again, his bail was again reduced, much to the chagrin of the DA’s office. He posted bail and fled to Mexico for 5 years. Upon his return in 2014, he was promptly arrested by Watsonville Police.