Winters police make multiple arrests, confiscate illegal fireworks

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Following the July 4 weekend, the Winters Police Department reported they had made a total of nine arrests, seized 14.5 pounds of illegal fireworks, gave two fireworks related citations and 12 traffic related citations. Police Chief John P. Miller told the Express that WPD had an additional bike unit from Davis Police Department to assist during the July 3 City Fireworks Show event. Miller said over 5,000 people attended the fireworks show. “We had more traffic than at the Tractor Parade,” Miller said. “It took almost an hour to clear out traffic going Eastbound.” Despite the congestion, Miller said that he considers the event a great success from the police department perspective. He said their traffic plan worked as well as they could expect, and they have knowledge on what to expect after the firework show for next year. Of the 25 fireworks related calls that public safety officials went out on, they seized 14.5 pounds of illegal fireworks and issued two citations. Miller said the challenge with firework-related calls is seeing it in action. “We have to on view it,” Miller said. “If they see a police car, they scatter. As soon as we leave they start doing it again.” In addition to handling fireworks and event traffic, Miller said Winters PD made two significant arrests. Christopher Lee Garcia, 33, of Woodland was stopped by the Winters PD for numerous vehicle code violations on July 3 at 11:26 p.m.,  Miller said officers could smell the odor of freshly burnt marijuana from the vehicle and Garcia made movements as though he was trying to conceal an object near the center console.  Miller said initially Garcia verbally identified himself to officers, however the information did not match records associated with the identity given. Upon a search Winters PD recovered a dirk/dagger under Garcia’s shirt and during a search of the vehicle they located marijuana in an open container, a marijuana pipe and a concealed handgun tucked between the driver seat and center console.  A records check revealed the handgun was not registered to Garcia. According to Miller, Garcia later confirmed his identification after being arrested and Winters PD found he had several prior felony convictions.  Garcia was booked at the Yolo County Jail on charges of felon in possession of a firearm, possession of firearm not registered to possessor, possession of concealed dirk/dagger, and giving false information to a police officer. On July 2, Winters PD officers responded to an alleged stalking call. Miller said Lorenzo DeJesus Hernandez Lopez (25) of Vacaville, had been served a domestic violence restraining order and was seen driving by his ex-girlfriend’s residence on multiple occasions in different vehicles. Hernandez Lopez was charged with stalking, committing a crime while out on bail and violation of court order. He was transported to Yolo County Jail. Lopez had been arrested five times prior by Winters PD for related offenses including stalking and violation of the restraining order. He has also been arrested by Woodland Police Department and the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office for related offenses including domestic violence.  Miller said that Hernandez Lopez had posted bail after each arrest and given his prior arrest history, Winters PD requested and was granted a bail enhancement from the Yolo Superior Court, which increased Hernandez Lopez’s bail amount to $250,000. “It was one of the most pervasive stalking cases in my 30-year career because he didn’t cease,” Miller said. “He was relentless.” Miller said to help provide support to victims of domestic violence Winters PD has partnered up with Empower Yolo. Empower Yolo offers free services including help with the restraining order application, counseling, shelter referrals, and more for victims of domestic violence.  Victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Winters PD at 530-795-4561 or reach out to Yolo County resources. An Empower Yolo legal advocate is available every Monday at 11 a.m. at the Winters PD building, or by phone at 530-665-5318. Miller said another option is to call the 24-hour Domestic Violence Crisis Lines at 530-662-1133 or 916-371-1907. “It (domestic violence) does not get better,” Miller said. “That cycle of violence has been shown over and over and over again. It gets worse over time.”

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