Monterey County

Watsonville police make arrest in 1986 Salinas attempted homicide

WATSONVILLE, Calif. - Watsonville police officer Eddie Santana was dispatched to reports of an attempted burglary Thursday and ended up making an arrest in a 28-year-old attempted homicide out of Salinas.

Santana said the victim of the attempted burglary gave him the name of a possible suspect - Raul Riojas.

While checking police records, Santana determined a man by that name was living at Second Street and using a number of other aliases. With help from regional 911 dispatchers, Santana determined Riojas was actually Paul Riojas, who was wanted on a warrant out of Monterey County for trying to kill his girlfriend.

Riojas was arrested around 10 p.m. without incident for the 1986 kidnapping and attempted murder of his girlfriend.  Earlier Friday, Watsonville police reported that it was a murder case before later rescinding that statement and sending out a correction stating that Rios was wanted on a warrant for attempted murder.

Police officials believe Riojas was able to acquire a California DMV driver's license using an assumed name - which was much easier to do back in the 1980s than it is today.

Salinas police officers traveled to Watsonville and brought Riojas to Monterey County Jail for booking, Sgt. Michael Ridgway said.

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