Twenty-two people were arrested or cited this week during a two-day crackdown on alleged gang activity and other crimes in Paso Robles, authorities announced Friday.
Authorities made arrests on probation violations, weapons possession and street racing and issued a series of minor citations.
The San Luis Obispo County Gang Task Force and Paso Robles Police Department operation Wednesday and Thursday netted 14 arrests and eight citations and culminated in a vehicle pursuit where a San Miguel resident was charged with felony assault on a peace officer, according to authorities.
Both juvenile and adult offenders were among those arrested. Information on the juveniles was not disclosed. Not everyone arrested or cited was affiliated with a gang, Paso Robles police Chief Lisa Solomon said.
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Authorities declined to identify which men were affiliated with a gang. Doing so gives gangs the recognition they desire, sheriff’s spokesman Rob Bryn said.
The operation began Wednesday evening. Officers targeted areas in town with a history of drug sales, graffiti and other crimes, Solomon said, including the southeastern and northern parts of Paso Robles and along Spring Street on the west side of town.
During the canvass Thursday evening, undercover sheriff’s deputies witnessed a street race in the area of Niblick and Creston roads, authorities said.
Misael Gonzalez Velazquez, 22, of San Miguel was driving a truck, and Philip Rendon-Sylva, 23, was driving a sedan.
Rendon-Sylva’s city of residence was not disclosed.
Deputies attempted to stop the men. Gonzalez Velazquez “failed to yield to lights and sirens,” officials said.
When a deputy pulled in front of the truck at a Nicklaus Street stop light and identified himself, the suspect “drove toward the deputy, swerving at the last minute to avoid striking him,” authorities said in a statement.
Gonzalez Velazquez allegedly tried to hit an officer a second time before the pursuit ended at Neal Springs Road and Berry Patch Lane when Gonzalez Velazquez’s truck struck a tree. The available information Friday on the adults arrested on felony charges include:
Jorge Cabrerra, 20, arrested on suspicion of felony sale of a controlled substance. His city of residence was not disclosed.
Matthew Hardy, 25, of Paso Robles, arrested on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance.
Gonzalez Velazquez, arrested on suspicion of failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and two charges of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm. Both are felonies. He’s also on an immigration hold to determine his citizenship.
Benis Santillan Guerra, 21, arrested on suspicion of felony possession of a dangerous weapon. His city of residence was not disclosed.