Salinas man sentenced to prison after punching pregnant girlfriend

SALINAS, Calif. - A Salinas man has been sentenced to a year and four months in prison for attempting to falsely imprison his pregnant girlfriend.

According to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, 26-year-old Pedro Velasco was in the passenger seat of his girlfriends car when the two started to argue. Velasco grabbed the steering wheel causing his girlfriend to swerve. The incident took place on May 7, around 7:40 p.m. on Laurel Drive. Velascos girlfriend pulled over to get her son from the backseat. While she was unbuckling her kid from the car seat, Velasco punched her in the face twice. At the time she was several months pregnant with Velasco’s child.

The DA’s Office said the girlfriend and her son were able to walk away from the car. However Velasco followed them, took her phone away and forced her to get back in. Velasco stopped to put in gas and that’s when his girlfriend and her son were able to escape in Salinas.

“On May 11, 2017, officers in an unmarked vehicle saw Velasco in a car driven by a known gang member who was on parole. Officer Dunagan recognized Velasco and knew he was also a gang member with a history of being armed and fighting law enforcement, that the two men were not allowed to associate, and that Velasco was wanted for attacking Jane Doe. He surveilled Velasco until additional officers arrived on scene and a high- risk traffic stop was conducted. Both Velasco and his passenger were immediately arrested.”

Velasco was sentenced to eight months in prison, which was doubled due to a prior strike conviction.

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