Salinas man provokes officers to shoot him twice


SALINAS (BCN) — Salinas police detained the same man twice over the weekend for trying to provoke officers into shooting him, police said.

The first time, police say 31-year-old Roberto Torres Acosta approached an officer at about 10:15 a.m. Saturday in the 600 block of Abbot Street and got into a shooting stance while pointing a cellphone at him.

Responding officers didn’t shoot Acosta, who repeatedly demanded to be shot, but instead took him into custody and placed him on a mental health hold at a hospital. Acosta was released just hours later, according to Salinas police officials.

Officers detained Acosta a second time after he approached a different officer who was sitting in his parked patrol car outside the Eastside Police Substation at about 6:55 p.m. on Sunday.

This time Acosta is suspected of concealing his hand behind is back and crouching down. The officer drew his weapon and challenged Acosta, who then put his hand inside his jacket and moved it around as if he was holding something, police said.

Acosta repeatedly told the officer to shoot him, did not heed commands and suddenly drew his hand out of his jacket and got into a shooting stance, according to police.

“Fortunately, this occurred in a well-lit area because at the last second, the officer saw that Acosta was unarmed,” Salinas police Cmdr. Sheldon Bryan said in a statement.

Acosta was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest and booked into the Monterey County Jail but he allegedly told officers and jail staff that he will keep trying to goad officers into killing him, according to Bryan.

Monterey County mental health workers were informed of Acosta’s activities and statements and are working on a long-term solution to this case, police said.

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