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Watsonville
February 23, 2024

Police: Man threw rocks at officers, threatened people with axe

WATSONVILLE—A man was arrested on Oct. 9 on suspicion of multiple counts of assault, including several counts against a peace officer.

Watsonville Police Department Sgt. Mike Ridgway said a group of people experiencing homelessness aided police in tracking down Oscar Partido, 26, around 8am. He was sleeping in another person’s tent. Police took him into custody without incident, Ridgway said.

On Oct. 8 a WPD officer approached Partido near Main Street at Auto Center Drive when he threw a rock at the officer, Capt. David Rodriguez said.

As officers responded to assist in snaring Partido, he hurled more rocks at police before fleeing into a thicket of brush and trees in Watsonville Slough. As a dozen officers fanned out around the slough and Ramsay Park, a Sheriff’s deputy arrived with a K9 and began tracking a trail where Partido fled. 

Police also deployed a drone for a bird’s eye view of the area. Officers called off their search around 5pm.

The next morning WPD resumed its search, and received help from a group of people camped in the slough who told police they were fed up with Partido’s aggressive behavior, Ridgway said. They led police to a tent alongside Ramsay Park where Partido was sleeping.

Ridgway said Partido recently threatened officers and others with an axe while marching across Main Street and into Watsonville Slough. He reportedly struck a utility box and other objects with a long-handled axe while yelling at passersby. On Oct.7, Partido pushed a woman and threatened her with a “sharp-edged object” before vanishing into the woods, WPD spokeswoman Michelle Pulido said. He faces multiple counts of assault and assault on a peace officer.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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