Visalia Police K-9 hauls in knife-wielding suspect

Ernesto Villegas arrested by VPD after wielding a knife and threatening to stab individuals

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – Visalia Police Department’s K9 unit came into play last week when they needed to take down a knife wielding man threatening to stab individuals.

According to VPD, on Friday, Feb. 15 at 6:48 a.m. officers responded to the 1200 block of N. Burke regarding a subject Ernesto Villegas, 24, waving a large knife attempting to stab individuals. Upon arrival, he had locked himself inside of the residence where he had been staying. He was contacted at the front door, and ultimately surrendered to a police canine.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident. There were no injuries to anyone in this matter, and a large knife was recovered. The suspect was transported and booked at the Tulare County Pre-Trial facility.

Visalia Police Log

Saturday, Feb. 16

At 3:57 p.m. an adult, female was selling flowers at the corner of Shirk Road and Riggin Avenue when a beige Chevrolet Avalanche being driven by Joel Martinez, 27, pulled to the side of the road. While the victim was momentarily preoccupied, the passenger in the Chevrolet, Florentino Martinez exited the vehicle and stole the victim’s backpack containing a large sum of money. Florentino got back into the Chevrolet being driven by his brother, and headed west, towards the town of Goshen. The victim quickly sought help from a passerby who drove after the two suspects. The victim and witness were able to follow the suspects to a home on the 30900 block of Rd. 67 in Goshen where they kept a watchful eye on the suspects until officers from the Visalia Police Department arrived. The victims positively identified the suspects to police, and both suspects were arrested without incident. Officers recovered the victim’s backpack and a large amount of U.S. Currency from the suspects.

Wednesday, Feb. 13

At 8:20 a.m. the Special Enforcement Unit (SEU), Narcotics Unit and the Tulare County Agencies Regional Gang Enforcement Team (TARGET) served a search warrant in the 1800 block of North Giddings at a documented gang member’s residence. Two handguns (one was reported stolen), ammunition, a small amount of methamphetamine, a bottle of promethazine, gang indicia, and two separate marijuana grows were located. Jesus Hernandez was arrested without incident and booked at the Tulare County Jail for firearm, narcotics, and gang enhancement charges.

Tuesday, Feb. 12

At 9:49 p.m., a patrol officer observed James Mcallister, 41, who appeared to be driving a vehicle while under the influence in the area of Mineral King Avenue and West Street. The officer conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, and the suspect failed to yield. The suspect continued driving until he reached the City of Farmersville, where he voluntarily pulled the vehicle over and was taken into custody. The suspect was found to have seven grams of methamphetamine and indicia indicative of the sales of narcotics in his possession. The suspect was later booked at the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility for driving under the influence, failure to yield to a police officer, and transportation of narcotics for sales. The suspect was also found to be on probation and had a violation of probation warrant for his arrest.

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