Willits Man Booked for Kidnapping After Pulling Knife on Another While Demanding a Ride to the Bay Area

This following is a press release from 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 08-01-2021 at about 11:19 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a location in the 16000 block of Black Bart Drive in Willits, California.

Deputies were advised Martin Soto was threatening another person with a knife. 

Deputies arrived and found an adult male, hiding behind a tree near the location.  Deputies learned the adult male came to check on Soto at the location, when Soto attacked him.

Deputies were told Soto had grabbed Perez by the throat and then by his shirt.  Soto then began to pull Perez around the location.

While doing this Soto was demanding Perez give him a ride to the Bay area. Perez pulled away from Soto and told him to calm down. This is when Soto pulled out a pocket knife and threatened to kill Perez.  Perez fearing for his safety ran away and contacted the Sheriff’s Office. 

Deputies contacted Soto at the location. Soto was continually placing his hands behind his back, acting bizarre, crying, and chanting.

Soto was not communicating but after sometime began following the Deputies verbal deescalation instructions.

Soto was placed in handcuffs without incident and arrested for Criminal Threats (422 PC), Kidnapping (207 PC) and Brandishing a Weapon (417(A)(1) PC). 

Soto was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $100,000.00 bail.

Categories: Crime

1 reply »

  1. Not being facetious when I say there’s a lot to cry about these days.
    Staying sane now requires some effort.
    And the past year and a half has moved everybody a little closer to the edge.

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