A suspected gang member from Salinas was arrested in Santa Maria on Saturday after an alleged one-man crime spree as he tried mightily to elude capture.
Police Sgt. Terry Flaa said Marcello Teofilo Alvarez, 35, a documented gang member from Salinas, was arrested Saturday afternoon in the 1000 block of East Hermosa Street after a series of encounters with law enforcement that began a quarter-mile away.
Flaa said an officer tried to stop a car driven by Alvarez in the 1000 block of North Bradley Road at about 1:35 p.m. He said Alvarez pulled into a driveway, “got out of the vehicle and made several furtive movements before getting back into the driver’s seat.”
As the officer approached, Flaa said, the suspect backed his vehicle toward him, striking the police car.
“The suspect then maneuvered his vehicle in such a manner that it was facing the officer, who sought cover,” he said.
With the officer in pursuit, Alvarez raced from the scene but collided with a parked vehicle a short distance away, Flaa said.
The suspect then fled on foot but Flaa said he was captured without incident on East Hermosa, east of North College Drive.
Flaa said officers found a woman passenger in Alvarez’s car and that she told them he had refused her demands to let her out of the vehicle during the brief chase.
A subsequent search of the car turned up a loaded rifle, ammunition and methamphetamine, Flaa said.
He said Alvarez was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, drug possession and a criminal street gang enhancement.
Alvarez’s bail has been set at $1.2 million.