Monterey County

One arrested on Cherokee Drive Sunday night in Salinas

SALINAS, Calif. - Police arrested a 21-year-old man in North Salinas after reports that he had called 911 and told dispatchers he was "crazy," he had a gun and that he was going to kill someone.

Upon arrival at an apartment complex on the 1800 block Cherokee Drive, officers found Nicholas Vela standing in the upstairs window, above the front door.

He was yelling and threatening to shoot officers. He appeared in the window with several objects - including a shard of broken glass and a glass bottle - that he pointed at officers, simulating a gun, police said.

Vela threw the glass bottle at officers but no one was injured.

An officer from the Hostage Negotiations Team spoke with Vela for an extended period of time. Vela broke out several windows and tossed various items to the ground below. An inner and outer perimeter was established and traffic was controlled in the area.

A group of about 50 spectators lined the parking lot at the Olive Garden Restaurant - some yelled anti-police comments and profanities towards the officers that were dealing with Vela. Some also yelled at Vela in what appeared to be an attempt to further incite him but officers were able to discourage that behavior.

After more than two hours of negotiating, an officer deployed a 40-millimeter direct impact launcher, striking Vela in his upper torso. 

Eventually a team was able to take him into custody. He was booked into Monterey County Jail on suspicion of threatening an officer, felony vandalism and resisting arrest.

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