On Saturday, September 6th, the Azusa Police Department's Gang Specialist Unit (GSU) conducted a two-phase operation in the City of Azusa. The first half of the operation dealt with compliance checks of local parolees and probationers, to ensure they were meeting the criteria placed on them by the courts as conditions of their release back into the community. Although the parolees and probationers are not forewarned of when these checks will occur, they have previously agreed to the courts or parole boards that the temporary and conditional waiving of their Fourth Amendment, search and seizure rights is a contracted part of their early release terms.
During this particular operation, four residences were visited. Robert Ventura (Age 20) was arrested in the 200 block of N. Soldano Avenue was arrested for violating his conditions, as he was in possession of graffiti tools and instruments. Jonathon Borunda (Age 18) was arrested in the 300 block of N. Calera Avenue, for narcotics violations. Although probationers were contacted at the remaining locations, they were found to be in-compliance and no further arrests were made.
The second half of the operation consisted of saturation patrols of areas which have seen an elevated, crime rate. During these patrols, Daryl Perez (Age 21) was arrested in the 300 block of S. Azusa Avenue, and Melissa Grether (Age 48) was arrested in the 700 block of W. Second Street, both for narcotics violations. Christian Castaneda (Age 20) was arrested in the 500 block of E. Gladstone Street, for being in possession of stolen/lost property that he failed to make a good faith effort to return.
As is common with police work, sometimes we never know what will happen next. Luckily, the GSU officers were on-duty when patrol officers found a lost child late at night, as previously reported on our social media platforms. Recognizing the priority of reuniting the child with her parents, the GSU officers shifted away from their detail to bolster patrol officers' efforts in locating the child's home and parents.
The Gang Specialist Unit remains dedicated in their commitment to help create a safer community for the hard working citizens of Azusa. They recognize their hard work pays off when children are free to play safely in parks and residents can take nightly walks with less fear of becoming the victim of a crime.