Gang Member in Jail After Being Found with Stolen Vehicle at Coyote Valley Casino then Fleeing Law Enforcement and Ditching Firearm

The following is a press released issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

On 04-07-2021 at about 11:30 hours, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to assist California Highway Patrol with contacting a reported stolen vehicle that had been located at the Coyote Valley Gas Station in Redwood Valley, California. 

The stolen vehicle was unoccupied and it was believed the suspect had fled the vehicle shortly before law enforcement arrival.  

Deputies assisted with a canvass of the area.  Upon entering the nearby casino, a Deputy observed a male, whom he immediately recognized as Juan Carlos Lopez. 

The Deputy knew Lopez had multiple outstanding felony warrants for his arrest.  The Deputy also knew Lopez to be an active criminal street gang participant who had reportedly been seen recently in possession of a firearm. 

The Deputy contacted Lopez but he immediately fled, throwing a casino chair toward the Deputy to prevent the Deputy’s pursuit.  The Deputy continued to chase Lopez out of the casino and northbound through the parking lot.  The Deputy broadcast his pursuit by radio and a perimeter was quickly formed around the path of the pursuit.  Lopez continued running up a steep, wooded hill with the Deputy close behind, while continuing to verbally order Lopez to stop. 

Knowing Lopez was likely armed with a deadly weapon and fearing he may harm civilians or other law enforcement, the Deputy deployed his Taser device.  The Taser probes were unable to penetrate Lopez’ thick, bulky clothing, rendering the deployment unsuccessful. 

Shortly after, Lopez was seen throwing a large item onto the ground.  The Deputy was able to apprehend Lopez a short distance later and Lopez was taken into custody without further incident.

Sheriff’s Office K9 “Bo” was on duty and is trained in firearm/ammunition detection.  K9 “Bo” was deployed to assist in searching the area where Lopez was seen throwing an item. 

The search was successful and a loaded .44 Magnum revolver was discovered.  Based on the condition and location of the revolver, it was obvious Lopez had discarded it while attempting to evade the Deputy.  The revolver was seized as evidence.

At the conclusion of the incident, Lopez complained of stomach pain and shortness of breath and requested medical attention. 

Emergency Medical Services personnel evaluated Lopez on scene.  It was determined further evaluation was needed so Lopez was transported by Deputies to the Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Hospital. 

Lopez was later medically cleared for incarceration and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on the following charges:

25850(c)(3) PC – Criminal Street Gang Participant Carrying a Loaded Firearm
29800(b) PC – Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm
30305(a) PC – Convicted Felon in Possession of Ammunition
3455 PC – Violation of Post Release Community Supervision
11370.1(a) HS – Possess a Controlled Substance while Armed with a Loaded Firearm
148(a)(1) PC – Resist/Obstruct a Peace Officer
Felony Arrest Warrant
Two Misdemeanor Arrest Warrants

Due to the severity of the crimes and risk posed to the community, a bail enhancement was requested by Sheriff’s Deputies.  The request was granted and bail on all open charges was set at $150,000.00 by a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge. 

Lopez was to be held at the Mendocino County Jail in lieu of $215,000.00 total bail.

Categories: Crime

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