(09:45) Salinas - A man pleaded guilty to false imprisonment by violence against his mother, and resisting arrest while disarming an officer. On June 5th 2015, 30 year-old Jose Velasco, of Salinas, beat his mother and dragged her by the neck through a street. Police used a taser to control Velasco’s violent behavior, but it was ineffective. 5 officers then used their batons in an effort to detain Velasco. Toxicology tests showed Velasco was under the influence of methamphetamine during the incident. Velasco will be sentenced to 4 years in state prison on July 13.
(07:55) Santa Cruz - New information was released on Friday about a former Santa Cruz brain surgeon, accused of raping children with two nurses in Santa Cruz County. A court document alleges 57 year-old Dr. James Kohut sought to impregnate women to have sex with their children. Patterns of Dr. Kohut participating in child sex abuse crimes dates back to 1997 in Santa Cruz County, Seaside, Riverside and Sacramento. Court documents also revealed that Kohut lured women and children from Ohio, Florida, Louisiana, Nevada and Australia. Kohut now faces 11 felonies. All charges are linked to lewd acts with children. If convicted, Kohut will face a minimum 165-year prison term. Kohut will be back in Santa Cruz County Superior Court at 8:15 this morning for a bail hearing.
(06:40) Watsonville - Watsonville Police arrested 5 gang members who were in possession of drugs and a loaded gun. The incident took place last night at 8:30 on the 100 block of E. Front Street. Police reported that while they were on patrol they came across the suspects in a car acting suspicious. Police searched the vehicle and uncovered marijuana, an open container of alcohol and a loaded handgun. All 5 suspects were arrested for possession of the loaded firearm and a gang enhancement.
(14:31) APTOS- Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a suspect for the Ambrosia Restaurant burglary. The Aptos business was broken into and the cash register drawer and safe were stolen on June 9th. Surveillance of the theft showed the thief in distinctive clothing. Deputies working an unrelated case thought they recognized the clothing and reviewed body camera footage on an encounter with 48 year old Lief Cowely of Ben Lomond. Cowley was subsequently identified as the burglar and taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with the burglary.
(13:52) SCOTTS VALLEY- Animal Welfare officer from Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter served a warrant at a Scotts Valley residence on Thursday. The warrant was obtained after the agency received several complaints about animals being improperly treated. 34 dogs were removed from the premises. No arrests have been made in connection with the case. For information about the shelter and adoption , visit scanimalshelter.org.
(13:40) CASTROVILLE- The Monterey County Sheriff’s SWAT team served two warrants in Castroville on Thursday. Authorities are reporting that deputies seized nearly a pound of illegal drugs during the operation. 36-year-old Jose Guerrero and 35-year-old Israel Robles were taken into custody and booked for parole violation and drug charges.
(13:26) FELTON-A large search and rescue effort was called off in the Santa Cruz mountains Sunday morning. Nearly 50 trained searchers were prepared to embark from the staging area at San Lorenzo Valley High School when missing 12 year old Laura Wells-Lucas was reported found. Wells-Lucas had gone missing while hiking with an adult the afternoon before, on a remote Zayante property. She was found by a neighbor near a water tank after spending the night in the mountains. A medical team and other experts were sent to the girl’s home to asses the situation.