Jail ‘revolving door’ frustrates San Jose police officers
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Police officers in San Jose are feeling frustrated. Too often, violent criminals are released from the Santa Clara County Jail, freeing them to commit even more crimes, police said.
San Jose Police Department Sgt. Christian Camarillo told reporters Thursday that the prison’s “revolving door” and bail system “failed” to protect neighborhoods from repeat offenders.
“We are really starting to get frustrated. These suspects must be held accountable for the serious crimes they commit. They must remain in custody. We want our community members to be safe in their own homes,” Camarillo said.
The SJPD held a press conference on Thursday to announce that a group of young men have carried out at least three terrifying and disturbing home invasions. During one of the home invasions on Summerdale Drive, the group threatened to kill a baby, held the baby’s father at gunpoint and forced the father into a bank to withdraw from the money.
The alleged home invaders have been identified as Armando Manzano, 19, Daniel Mendez, 19, Eduardo Santiago, 23, and a 17-year-old boy – all residents of San Jose.
Manzano was arrested by San Jose police for an unrelated crime just two days before one of the home invasions.
Manzano was pursued by the police on June 5, arrested and imprisoned. He was released from prison on June 6. And on June 7, Manzano broke into a home on Bolero Drive in south San Jose, police said. Manzano and Mendez tied up an elderly couple who lived in the home at gunpoint and violently assaulted the husband and wife, according to SJPD.
While the attackers were still searching the house, one of the victims was able to escape and call 911. Officers quickly responded to the house and grabbed two Manzano and Mendez as they tried to flee, according to SJPD .
Camarillo noted that the same problem – releasing inmates early with little or no bail – led to a second violent crime in San Jose. A group of four masked teenagers carried out an armed carjacking at 1 a.m. Sunday on South 7th Street, police said.
The boys, all between the ages of 14 and 17, were still in the stolen car when patrol officers spotted them hours later. Police chased the car, but the chase was broken off because the car’s reckless maneuvering on the road put the public in danger. The driver eventually lost control of the car and crashed on Coleman Avenue near Highway 87.
Detectives knew the boys so well that they recognized them at the scene of the Coleman Avenue crash.
“Robbery detectives have recognized three of four suspects in former armed robberies and carjackings that occurred in San Jose,” Officer Steve Aponte wrote.
The boys had already been arrested in March. One teenager had an ankle monitor and another was in possession of a ghost gun. The boys were re-booked in the juvenile hall on Sunday.
Serial home invasion suspects Manzano, Mendez and Santiago were locked up in the Santa Clara County Jail late Thursday afternoon, inmate records show.
Camarillo said the SJPD is working closely with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office to ensure that — this time around — home invasion suspects remain behind bars without bail.