Four gang members accused of assault and robbery

March 13, 2014

knife crimeArroyo Grande police arrested four gang members suspected of assaulting and robbing a pedestrian at knifepoint.

On Feb. 2, Richard Ceja, 19, Matthew Hurtado, 19, and Luis Ramirez, 21, all of Oceano, and Reyes Salto, 19, of Grover Beach allegedly confronted their victim on the 600 block of South Elm Street. A subsequent investigation identified the four known gang members as suspects.

Officers served warrants at homes in Oceano and Grover Beach last week. All four suspects were arrested and booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail for armed robbery, criminal conspiracy, and promoting a criminal street gang.



I was the one they robbed (and assaulted).

Since the lawyers involved in this case would probably disapprove of me posting this and the need/desire to keep my identity secure, I’ll leave the majority of the specific details out. Also, being an extremely private person who cherishes anonymity, I’m normally not one to post something personal on the internet. Regardless, I feel a strong need to share what happened to me and even though the story is incomplete, I hope to be able to share the rest when appropriate.

My CCW (Concealed Carry Permit) expired last year and I made what seemed at the time an easy decision not to renew it since I felt (and somewhat still do feel) I live in such a safe area. Call it fate, bad luck or just random…. While out on an evening pleasure walk, I got beat up by 3 of the men mentioned in the above article (1 remained in the vehicle) for 5+ minutes in the middle of Elm st. near Farroll.

As I lay on the ground trying to comply with the robbery, I’m still trying to take my watch off but it has become even more difficult since my brain won’t allow my eyes to lose focus on the knife I just spotted lunging forward repeatedly in my direction. Even though they all continuously called me their “homie” the entire beating… for some reason they only beat me harder and harder the more I asked my new found friends (“homies”) to stop. Maybe I should have explained more clearly about the issue I was having removing my watch. I guess it didn’t cross my mind at the time; being kicked and punched in the head seemed only a minor distraction to the potential of being stabbed. Some might say their intention all along was just to assault someone, but unwilling to go in to detail, I can assure you it was beyond clear their main motivation was robbery.

To end on a pleasant note… besides not getting stabbed, it also seems I got the last laugh because they never got any of my real valuables but only because of their impressive devotion to providing an above average beating while selflessly forgoing the intended monetary gain they worked ever so hard for. I hope they enjoy the items they were able to take…. above all, the portion of my Purple Heart medal that you ripped from me…. Kind of ironic how I earned it and lost it for the same reason.

I tried to be civil from the beginning and comply immediately. I quickly and clearly verbalized I would comply and welcomed them to everything I had. For a few reasons I did not try to run nor do anything to inspire the physical attack… For one, I was already surrounded when my brain registered what was going on. Once I did realize, my instincts told me cooperating calmly would be my best chance for leaving uninjured. For reasons unknown as I looked down to take off my watch, I saw a bright white light as I received the first blow to my head. The violence was all so pointless…We all would have come out ahead. I never was able to get my watch off.

I’m not some NRA loving gun nut; The Confederate flag isn’t flying in my front yard, I don’t subscribe to “Guns and Ammo,” I don’t have a pet name for my gun and I’m certain there is no practical reason for a rocket launcher to be used for civilian home defense. Yet it is still my basic belief that gun control is in the hands of the citizens that own and hold them….

Hammers don’t hit nails unless someone decides to swing the hammer. If ALL hammers were suddenly confiscated, destroyed and made illegal, I’m certain another, possibly more crude tool would be quickly substituted to ensure nails still got driven into wood by the decision of a human.

The issue is that the decision to pull a trigger can have much more devastating and permanent effects. Unlike our friend the hammer, guns don’t have a claw on the back side for harmlessly removing bullets. For this reason and many others, I hope and I pray that I’ll never have to fire a gun at anyone or anywhere besides a target at a shooting range. So even if I were carrying my gun that night, I wouldn’t want to shoot some young kids fixing to make a dumb choice. I’m willing to be civil with or without the gun, so I would hope the sight of it would have been enough to deter them. Sadly, the problem was/is that generally your attacker isn’t as willing as you are.

Please excuse my sarcasm throughout this post… it’s my attempt to lighten a very intense experience through a little humor.


Reminds me of the organized-crime corruption being led by Jim App in Paso Robles.


It’s amazing to me how we tolerate this crap as a society. Latino culture glorifies this garbage to their youth, and the rest of us just accept it. Can you imagine the national uproar that would happen if it was Skinheads out stabbing, stealing, and tagging their community?


They are just teenagers, and everybody knows that this county has no entertainment for teenagers. So what else are they suppose to do except rob people with knives? You people are racist and uncaring.


These men need to be affiliated with a Gang to make them tough. Alone they are nothing more than cowards. Four against one …. cowardly punks.

Kevin 99

I agree. Sort of like the Tea Party.


I am sorry this Party intimidates you so much….. Just keep calm and have a nice cuppa.


Please name one thing the Tea Party has done, other than just supporting the Constitution.


Oh yeah that awful Tea Party that believes in less Government and more Liberty and equal justice under the law and personal privacy and the notion of private property…who needs them right Kev?


What do you have against the Sons of Liberty?


Gang task force STAT!


Ahh,these punks are looking for a gang to hang with,I have just the solution, it would be the county work gang, if this county would get off its butt and start one, there is trash to pick up,weeds to clean,creeks to clean trash out of,this is a good place for a WORK gang to start.


and if they can’t find a work gang then Mensa is looking for more locals. How bright must one be to expect the jackpot from a pedestrian?


They will be assigned to a work gang, inside of a big barbed wire fence.


“…it would be the county work gang..”

Great idea, but it most likely wouldn’t fly with the County Employee Union.

When I attended Arroyo Grande High School, if you served detention, you picked up trash or swept the halls, or pulled weeds. Not any more, the LMUSD union pitched a fit.


O goody. La Familia prison gang gets some fresh blood.