Adult brawls with teens in Atascadero, arrested on weapons charge

By KAREN VELIE

A man spotted fighting with a group of juveniles in Atascadero was arrested Monday for possession of a stolen firearm.

Shortly after 4 p.m., a 911 caller reported an adult male and female had attacked a group of juveniles near Sunken Gardens. Another caller reported a person was injured in the brawl.

The fight dispersed and the participants fled the scene as officers responded to the area. Witnesses told officers the juveniles had fled towards Sunken Gardens while the adults left in a black Cadillac Escalade.

Officers stopped the Escalade near the intersection of El Camino Real and Traffic Way, while other officers viewed video footage of the the brawl. The video shows Eric Espinoza Melendez, 32, and a female assaulting at least two people, police said.

Melendez and the adult female were located inside the Escalade, along with ammunition and a loaded firearm, which had been stolen in Gilroy.

Officers booked Melendez in the San Luis Obispo County Jail on charges of possession of a concealed firearm and possession of stolen property. He has since been released from custody. The female was identified and released at the scene.

An investigation is ongoing and additional charges are anticipated.

Officers are asking anyone who witnessed the altercation to call the Atascadero Police Department at (805) 461-5051.

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