The man wanted in connection of the rape of a teenaged girl was spotted and arrested on the grounds of Oakdale High School Tuesday night, July 15.
Antonio Ruiz Jr. was spotted by citizens in the area of the school just after 8 p.m. which resulted in a saturation of police units to the area to search for the 18-year old suspect.
Ruiz had been identified by the victim as a suspect in an early morning July 13 rape and police had been seeking him since.
Officers located Ruiz in the breezeway of the high school and took him into custody for the sexual assault.
Detective Vern Gladney stated that Ruiz was later questioned by investigators and made incriminating statements toward his involvement in the crime. Gladney declined to elaborate due to the case still being under investigation.
“We’re reasonably sure we’ve also recovered the victim’s phone in his possession also,” Gladney said. “Right now, it’s pending her identification.”
Ruiz is currently in custody in Stanislaus County Jail for forcible rape, digital penetration, and burglary. He is being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.
Gladney and detectives were busy juggling other cases from the weekend which included a stabbing outside the Battered Beaver Bar and a person shot at 7-11 on West F Street.
On Saturday night, July 12, a man and his teenaged cousin were leaving the convenience store when an unknown male wearing white and blue yelled out “Sur Trece” and fired a shot from a chrome revolver out of the passenger side of a parked SUV. The SUV sped away and the man realized he had been shot in his torso.
Gladney told The Leader that the shooting suspect was identified as Jose Julian Esquivias, 25, of Waterford.
“We understand through information from Riverbank Police and Stanislaus Probation that Esquivias is a known gang member of ‘MLS,’” Gladney said.
“MLS” is the moniker for Mexican Loco Surenos.
Gladney credited the cooperation of Riverbank Police, Waterford Police and tips from Crime Stoppers that assisted in identifying Esquivias after an image of him from a store security camera was circulated to police and the public. Gladney said there were numerous calls into the department about the case with identifying information on the suspect.
Gladney showed the 27-year-old victim and other witnesses of the shooting a photo line-up and Esquivias was identified as the shooter from the set of pictures in the group.
On Wednesday, July 16, Gladney obtained a felony warrant with a $2 million bail from Judge Thomas Jeff of Stanislaus Superior Court charging Esquivias with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and felon in possession of a firearm along with enhancements for a gang crime and committing a crime when out on bail.
Esquivias was out on bail from a prior July 2013 assault with a deadly weapon when he was arrested with two accomplices.
For more on this story, read the July 23 edition of The Leader.