Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 11:12 am | Overcast 67º


Local News

5 Oceano Men Arrested For Santa Maria Kidnapping

Five men from southern San Luis Obispo County were arrested for an alleged kidnapping with intent to commit rape in Santa Maria., police Lt. Paul Van Meel said Monday.

At approximately 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Santa Maria police officers were dispatched to a possible kidnapping investigation at Main Street and Bonita School Road, Van Meel said. 

Detectives determined two female victims were at a local nightclub when they were approached by five men.

The males asked the victims to go somewhere with them, but the women declined. 

“The males grabbed the victims and forced them into a nearby vehicle. The males then fled with the victims,” Van Meel said.

“Fortunately, a nearby witness observed the incident at the nightclub and he called 9-1-1,” Van Meel said. 

Jose Mendoza Cerna Click to view larger
Jose Mendoza Cerna
Salvador Cerna Mendoza Click to view larger
Salvador Cerna Mendoza

One of the victims also managed to escape from the suspects while on Main Street and Bonita, and called 9-1-1, he added.

When Santa Maria police officers arrived at Main Street and Bonita, they found Guadalupe Police had already detained five suspects after being alerted via a 9-1-1 call. 

Officers ultimately determined the crime occurred within the Santa Maria city limits.

Five Oceano men were arrested: Jose Octavio Perez, 56; Jorge Alvarez Manzano, 53; Joel Verduzco Mendoza, 24;  Salvador Cerna Mendoza, 39; and Jose Mendoza Cerna, 30.

All five suspects were booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, police said. 

Jose Octavio Perez Click to view larger
Jose Octavio Perez
Jorge Alvarez Manzano Click to view larger
Jorge Alvarez Manzano
Joel Verduzco Mendoza Click to view larger
Joel Verduzco Mendoza

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >