Santa Ana Police have announced a manhunt for an alleged bail skipper who is charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old relative of his live-in girlfriend.
Jose Gerrardo Espiritu, 53, was charged March 3 with multiple felonies, and he made six appearances in court after he posted bail and was released, but on Sept. 1 he failed to show for one of his court dates and a fugitive warrant was issued for his arrest, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, the Santa Ana Police spokesman.
Wanted on a $150,000 warrant, Espiritu has brown eyes since you can't tell that from the booking mug. He is further described as Latino, 5-foot-10, 155 pounds with black hair.
The evening of Feb. 28, Espiritu got into an argument with his girlfriend, prompting her to leave the residence and prompting Espiritu to convince the teen girl to go along with him to help find the woman, Bertagna said.
During the search, Espiritu allegedly sexually assaulted the teen multiple times and about 5 a.m. drove her back home, said Bertagna, who added the police were then called and Espiritu was arrested the afternoon of March 1.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call detectives at 714.245.8378. Anonymous tips may be left with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855.847.6227 (855-TIP-OCCS), via occrimestoppers.org or by texting to 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) from a cell phone. (All text messages should begin with the letters "OCCS".)
In other fugitive news, one of two brothers sought for the past 18 years in the alleged murder-for-hire killing of a direct business competitor was caught hiding in Mexico but his sibling remains on the loose, according to the FBI.
Ruben Lopez Ramirez was arrested Oct. 15 by Mexican law enforcement after FBI agents tracked him to an area in Guadalajara, said the bureau, which is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his brother, David Lopez Ramirez.
The brothers, who operated Red's Hydraulics in Long Beach, are believed to have hired three Mexican Mafia members to kill their 60-year-old business rival Leonard Miller in 1997, according to the FBI. The trio was found guilty of killing Miller, who owned Low Rider Hydraulics in San Jose, but the brothers fled before they could be prosecuted, the FBI explains.