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December 4, 2023

HPD issues more details on woman’s alleged assault of officer

Hollister police released more details on three arrests that occurred after the residents were alleged to obstruct an officer’s investigation of a traffic collision, with one suspect accused of assaulting the officer.

According to police in a statement:

The Hollister Police Department arrested three local people for obstructing and battery on officers while officers were attempting to give aid to crash victims.

On August 26 at 9:38 p.m., an officer was on patrol when he came upon a just occurred traffic collision on Nash Road near Prune Street. A white Acura was disabled in the middle of Nash Road and he stopped to render aid and conduct the investigation.

While the officer was trying to verify the drivers and if there were any injuries, several uninvolved people walked into the scene and into the roadway.  Some were intoxicated and aggressive toward the officer.  It was later learned the group were family members of the driver of the white Acura and had been attending a nearby party on Knight Lane.

Two additional officers responded to the scene to assist. The three officers were greatly outnumbered by the crowd. Two men, later identified as being Ernesto Alvarez Jr. and Gilbert Arturo Lozoya-Sanchez continued to argue with and approach officers despite being told several times they were obstructing an investigation and would be arrested should they continue.

Approximately a eight to nine individuals came out into the roadway and stopped traffic.  All refused commands to step away from the officers and to get out of the roadway.

After repeated commands to step back and to stop interfering, officers attempted to take Alvarez into custody.  He resisted and fought officers attempts to place him into custody.   Jacqueline Valdez stepped in between the officers and Ernesto to prevent his arrest.  One officer was struggling to overcome the suspects’ resistance when Jacqueline approached him from behind and struck him in the back of the head.

A second struggle began when Gilbert also resisted arrest. Several uncooperative family members obstructed officers by pulling and tugging on their uniforms.

The three suspects were eventually taken into custody. Ernesto Alvarez was booked on the charge of obstructing and resisting arrest.  Gilbert Lozoya was booked on battery of an officer and obstruction. Jaqueline Valdez was booked on the charges of battery on an officer and obstruction.

One officer was injured during the struggle and will hopefully be able to return to work soon.

The Hollister Police Department would like to thank the San Benito County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol for responding to assist our officers during this dangerous situation.

Anyone with information regarding these investigations is requested to contact Officer Evan Umstead at 831-636-4330. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

-Kollin Kosmicki