Alleged gang members arrested in Paso Robles carjackings, assaults

slinn@thetribunenews.comAugust 29, 2013 

Paso Robles police have arrested three alleged gang members in connection with a crime spree last week.

Detectives with the Paso Robles Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team, working with the San Luis Obispo County Probation Department, arrested three Paso Robles residents on the following felony counts:

  • Arturo Montoya, 20, on suspicion of carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, criminal conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance, plus a felony warrant;
  • Francisco Martinez, 19, on suspicion of carjacking, robbery and criminal conspiracy; and
  • an unidentified juvenile on suspicion of attempted murder, carjacking, robbery and criminal conspiracy.

Martinez was being held without bail Thursday at County Jail.

Police began their investigation at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 22 when a man reported being assaulted by three Hispanic men while sitting in his vehicle along the 300 block of Spring Street, according to a news release.

He told police that the men asked him if he was a gang member, then began punching him in the face. The man left in his vehicle without sustaining serious injuries.

At 10:27 p.m. that night, officers responded to reports of an assault and carjacking elsewhere in Paso Robles.

A man told police that he was approached by three men matching the description of the earlier carjackers who asked for a ride.

He drove them to the 800 block of Oak Street, where they attacked him with a knife while yelling gang epithets, police said, before leaving in his vehicle.

According to police, the man sustained a slash wound to his face and puncture wounds to his right arm and chest, none of them life-threatening.

Then, at 8:48 p.m. on Aug. 24, two young men were reportedly assaulted and robbed by three Hispanic men along the 400 block of Oak Hill. After being struck by a rock and possibly a stick, the two juveniles fled without their MP3 music player, skateboard and hat.

Detectives linked Montoya, Martinez and the juvenile to all three crimes, police said.

The Special Enforcement Team is currently working with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office’s Gang Task Force and the county District Attorney’s Office to pursue gang enhancements for all three.

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