Nathanael Avila (L) and Richard Betancourt (R)
WATSONVILLE — The Watsonville Police Department was called to a park in the area of Grant Street to follow up on reports of a group of men drinking in public on Thursday evening, a violation of city code. Because of this, 35-year-old Richard Betancourt and 28-year-old Nathanael Abraham Avila ended up arrested on numerous additional charges.
As the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force approached the two men, they decided to leave. Upon being detained, however, Avila was found to be in possession of a loaded .22 cal. semi-auto handgun concealed in his front waistband, as well as a box of ammunition in his pocket.
The other subject, Betancourt, walked to a nearby residence as officers approached and went inside. Officers were able to conduct a parole search after learning the resident of the home was on parole and Betancourt was arrested without further incident.
Both subjects were booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail, Avila on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm, participating in a criminal street gang, and promoting a criminal street gang; Betancourt on charges of parole violation and obstructing/delaying/resisting a peace officer.
To date, the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Task Force has seized 25 handguns off the streets of Santa Cruz County.