Crime

He stopped a car and shot at its driver in March, police say. They caught him Saturday night

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A Merced man wanted in connection with an assault that occurred in March was captured Saturday night, police said.

Lt. Alan Ward said Simon Velasco, 38, had been wanted since May 16 when a warrant was issued for his arrest; investigators identified Velasco because he is believed to associate with the area where the assault happened.

Saturday night, police received an anonymous tip that Velasco was in the area of East Santa Fe Avenue and Stretch Road in Merced. Officers went there about 8:30 p.m. and spotted Velasco who took off on foot, jumping fences and running through multiple properties.

According to Ward, officers were able to corner Velasco behind a home in the 2400 block of Hawthorne Avenue and he was arrested.

The alleged crime happened just before 9 p.m. March 10 in the area of East 21st Street and F Street in Merced. Police said the victim was driving in the area when a man walked into the street and blocked the vehicle’s path. It wasn’t clear if the suspect came from a nearby home.

Police said the suspect was carrying a gun and threatened to kill the driver. The suspect then fired one round at the driver before leaving the area on foot. The driver of the car was not injured and officers did not find the shooter.

According to authorities, Velasco did not have any weapons on him at the time of his arrest. He was booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of assault with a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and felon in possession of ammunition.

Velasco is being held at the John Latoracca Correctional Center in lieu of $200,000 bond, according to jail records.

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