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Honor the life of Juan Angel Perez (1999-2015), including by taking action for violence prevention

Juan Angel Perez, 16, a student of Everett Alvarez High School…

was shot while riding a bicycle on November 1, 2015 just before 9 p.m. He died on the scene.

The homicide occurred at the intersection of Sieber Street and Orchard Avenue, Salinas. Mr. Perez’s death was reported to be the 34th homicide of 2015 in Salinas.

Juan Angel Perez had no record with the police.

However, SPD detectives believe suspects seen running from the scene may be involved in gangs.

Salinas Police ask that any witnesses contact them, which may be done anonymously; click here for the SPD report and contact info.

Viewing and mass details will not be published by Bicycling Monterey. Leaders of local bike clubs who would like to convey their support and sympathy to Juan’s family are welcome to contact Mari for suggestions.

Juan Angel Perez (1999-2015)

1999-2015 Juan Angel Perez

If you’ve been reading Bicycling Monterey for some time, you’re likely aware that one of our focuses is youth, including violence prevention and related projects.
Please scroll down for ways you can help Bicycling Monterey or others doing this work.

Here’s an update on the youth homicide rate in Monterey County:

“Lost Youth: A County-by-County Analysis of 2013 California Homicide Victims Ages 10 to 24,” was released November 5, 2015. Read local perspectives as reported by Ana Ceballos in the Monterey County Weekly, Claudia Meléndez Salinas in the Monterey County Herald, and Mariana Hicks for KION.

Top photo, Bicycle No Longer Ridden, courtesy of Michael Deighton.

And of course, it’s not just youth who are victims of homicide and other violence.

Below we also remember the lives of

Ernesto Ruiz Martinez,
Martin Anthony Trujillo,
William Garcia Sanchez,
Santiago Ramirez
Our sympathy to the loved ones of all these individuals.

Each one was shot and killed while bicycling in Monterey County.

Bicycling Monterey considers every person who rides a bike in Monterey County to be a part of our county’s bike community.
Foremost, we grieve the loss to the families and friends of these individuals. 

In addition, we are saddened that their deaths happened while biking, and in one of our favorite places to bike—the Monterey County seat and largest city, Salinas.

Again, for ways that the bike community and others can respond by helping with violence prevention efforts, please scroll down.
Ernesto Ruiz Martinez (1980-2015)

Ernest Ruiz Martinez, 35, was shot while riding a bicycle on October 19, 2015 at about 3 p.m. He was taken to a local hospital, and on October 20, Salinas Police were notified by the hospital that Mr. Martinez had died of his injuries.

The homicide occurred in the 1400 block of Garner Avenue, Salinas. Mr. Martinez’s death was reported to be the 33rd homicide of 2015 in Salinas.

Martin Anthony Trujillo (1979-2015)

Martin Anthony “Grassman” Trujillo, 35, was shot on May 16, 2015 about 11:57 p.m. apparently while riding a bicycle, as reported in the Californian. He was taken to Natividad Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries.

The homicide occurred on West Powell at Rossi Streets in Salinas.

William Garcia Sanchez (1977-2012)

William “Billy” Garcia Sanchez, 34, was shot and killed on a bicycle on October 4, 2012, near Archer Avenue and Villa Street, Salinas. Read a related story by Julia Reynolds in the Monterey County Herald, October 29, 2012.

Santiago Ramirez (1985-2012) 

Santiago Ramirez, 26, was shot and killed on a bicycle on April 5, 2012 at Alma Avenue at Second Avenue, Salinas.  Santiago was asked by occupants of a vehicle what his gang affiliation was before he was shot.  He was pronounced dead a short time later at Natividad Medical Center.  The Salinas Californian reported it was the city’s fourth gang-related homicide in a month.

As reported by KSBW, as of November 26, 2012, the deaths of Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Ramirez were among 18 homicides in the Salinas for 2012.

* * *

Please support efforts to create safer, more peaceful communities, and to show solidarity with all who bike Monterey County, including biking in Salinas. Salinas has over one-third of the population of our entire county.
Whether people bike for transportation, recreation, fitness and health, sport, work, to reduce carbon emissions, or just for social rides and fun, any person who rides a bike–for any reason–is part of the bike community. And we want to help make Monterey County a better place to bike for each one of them.

Here are some of the many ways to help create safer, healthier communities.

First, here are some biking or bike-related ways to help…
  1. Support the Monterey County Probation Department Youth Center bike class. This class, located in Salinas, serves boys ages 14-17 who come from all over Monterey County. Many (but not all)  boys at the Youth Center have been gang involved. This class is the first high school bike tech class in the county! Founded by Mari Lynch, Bicycling Monterey, the class is now coordinated by Luciano Rodriguez. Its fourth year began April 2015. Help is needed teaching bike repair, doing  administrative tasks, contributing supplies, or otherwise supporting the class. See “Teach Teens Well” or just contact Mari to learn more.
  2. In the Teach Teens Well” post, learn about a new outreach at the Youth Center that began in fall 2015: Bike Night. This activity provides a bike ed opportunity for boys who cannot be in Youth Center bike class. Contact Mari if you’d like to provide a raffle prize, suggest a favorite resource, or support this project in another way.
  3. Attend and otherwise support Monterey County’s Open Streets, Ciclovia Salinas. As Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin stated prior to the inaugural event, (see Californian newsclip here), “I truly believe that a successful Ciclovia can bring some real healing to our troubled streets.” On Ciclovia dates, residents and visitors can walk, bike, skateboard, dance, roll in a wheelchair, or otherwise move about on car-free streets. A youth-led initiative, Ciclovia Salinas is “Where the streets are yours!” The dates are a chance to reclaim the streets for people-powered transportation and other healthy activities while building stronger community connections. They also provide a way to bridge sections of the city that often feel separated, and to encourage visitors who may have missed the heart of Steinbeck Country.
  4. See “Salinas youth and others for bikes:  Bikes make life better” to see a sampling of ways to help. Or look over the Monterey County bicycling resources/bike community page or the Bicycling Advocacy: What you can do page.
  5. Contact Mari for other ideas.Bicycling advocates can organize or otherwise support bike rodeos, bike skills classes, recreational ridesbike polo games, bike race teams, and other fun, healthy, community-building activities.
Also consider supporting the efforts of groups such as:

Champion of Change Fernanda Ocana, at age 19, was honored by the White House–along with Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin–for youth violence prevention work. Contact Fernanda or Kelly  for more ideas.

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