WATSONVILLE—In a span of five days Watsonville Police seized three guns and made three arrests in Watsonville, said Michelle Pulido, spokeswoman for WPD.
On Wednesday a suspect pulled a gun on a man at a shopping center on the 1200 block of Main Street around 5:30pm. As police arrived at the scene, they saw the suspect, Gonzalo Fernandez, running toward an apartment complex on Pennsylvania Avenue. As they gave chase, other officers set up a perimeter and eventually took Fernandez, 18, into custody.
A loaded gun that Fernandez tossed as he ran from police was also recovered, Pulido said.
About 30 minutes earlier, the driver of a BMW was pulled over for a vehicle code violation in the area of Freedom Boulevard. Watsonville Police learned that the 18-year-old driver had expired car insurance and was actively on probation.
Officers conducted a probation search of his car and ordered the passengers to get out. During a pat-down search, officers found a loaded gun tucked in a 16-year-old’s waistband. The 16-year-old, who was not identified because of his age, was arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall.
The arrests come on the heels of the Feb. 4 arrest of 41-year-old Jose Martinez, who rattled off numerous shots from a stolen handgun while walking on the 500 block of Walker Street. While no one was injured in the 4pm incident, witnesses provided police with a description of the suspect. Within minutes a WPD officer spotted Martinez walking while eating a burrito near Rodriguez and Kearney streets. The officer who detained and searched him found a gun in his front waistband, Pulido said.
The loaded gun he was carrying was reported stolen out of Santa Clara County. At the crime scene police found numerous shell casings scattered in a market parking lot.
Martinez was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail for being a felon in possession of a firearm, willful discharge of a firearm in a negligent manner, carrying a loaded gun in a public place, and several other charges.