It is customary for the Shafter Police Department and its officers to deal with gun fire on New Year’s Eve. But, this year, officers ended up arresting an Earlimart man who took the celebration a little too far.
Antonio Alvarado, 29, was arrested on several charges and was placed on a $490,000 bond.
According to police reports, officers were dispatched to the 400 block of North Wall Street in Shafter for reports of gunfire, possibly with a round hitting an apartment door. When officers arrived, they located Alvarado walking with a woman. When officers tried to make contact with Alvarado, he fled, leading them on a short foot pursuit. Officers caught Alvarado and found a 9mm handgun, which was stolen in Tulare County, and empty bullet shell casings. Officers also found damage to the outside of a door, but Shafter Police Lt. Marvin Gomez said it was not a front door to an apartment but a door to a miscellaneous room.
As they were taking Alvarado to a police car, he yelled out a street gang name, which Gomez said was meant to intimidate officers. Alvarado then proceeded to threaten to shoot officers and their families and also kicked three of the officers. “Some people, they don’t know how to act right. In celebratory times, it’s really common for people to be shooting fireworks — which is one thing — but there’s other people, they need to take it to the next level, which is guns,” arvin Gomez said.
“Him yelling out gang membership, criminal street type stuff, threatening the officers — at Shafter, we do take that seriously,” Gomez said,
Charges facing Alvarado include reckless discharge of a weapon, felon possessing ammunition, participating in a criminal street gang, and several others. According to the agency’s website, Alvarado is no longer in custody.