Authorities were searching Wednesday night for a wanted gang member who allegedly was involved in a disturbance near a Santa Maria school.
Ricardo Cruz, 28, who is considered armed and dangerous, was spotted by gang detectives at about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday on the 200 block of West Roschelle Lane, said Santa Maria police Sgt. Daniel Cohen.
“Upon observing the detectives, Cruz fled running into a neighborhood of residential apartments, where children were playing,” Cohen said. “Officers surrounded the area and then began an extensive search.”
K-9 officers from several local agencies were brought in to assist with the search, along with a California Highway Patrol helicopter, but after several hours of looking, Cruz had not been located, Cohen said.
The incident began at about 3 p.m. when officers were sent to the area of Adam Elementary School on a report of a disturbance involving a man with a gun.
Cruz, who was on federal probation and was wanted for violation probation, was last seen heading toward the school, which was placed on lockdown.
Anyone with information about Cruz’s whereabouts is asked to call the Police Department at 805.928.3781