Gangster Pleads Guilty to Carjacking Disabled Man

Saul Aldana ripped off the man's pants and threw him in a mud puddle to steal his pickup.

A 21-year-old gang member faces eight years behind bars for carjacking a disabled man last fall, the District Attorney's Office reported Friday.

Saul Aldana pleaded no contest Friday morning to carjacking and active participation in a criminal street gang. He has served 85 percent of his sentence and he also received a strike under California's "Three Strikes" law, according to the D.A.'s Office.

"This crime was just despicable," Assistant District Attorney Charlie Baum, who prosecuted the case, said. "It really shows what gang members are: criminals that just prey on the weak. I hope this case helps all the kids who look up to gang members, for whatever reason, see them for what they truly are."

Aldana carjacked a disabled 41-year-old Watsonville man near East Lake Avenue on Oct. 7, 2011. The driver, who is permanently disabled from being run over by a construction truck five years earlier, had pulled off the road to make a U-turn when Aldana, who had been in the area drinking with fellow gang members, approached his truck and ordered the man out of his vehicle, according to the D.A.'s Office.

When the man refused, Aldana pulled the man out of his truck, and demanded his wallet and keys. The man again refused, and Aldana ripped off the man's pans to get the items and threw the man in a mud puddle, according to the D.A.'s Office. 

Aldana got into the truck and fought with the man's female friend, punching her in the face and pushing her out of the vehicle as well, the D.A.'s Office reported.

Watsonville police responded, found the stolen truck and caught Aldana as he tried to flee—Aldana fell and hurt his face, the D.A.'s Office reported. He was arrested.

Aldana will be sentenced on May 3.

Cathy P. March 04, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Jennifer Squires March 05, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Hey, let's try to keep comments civil and not hateful. Remember we all came from somewhere. Watsonville's history as an immigrant community is something that makes the city special (and some of the food really great). That said, what this guy did is not anything we should be proud of in Watsonville and gang crime is an ongoing concern we all need to take ownership in resolving.
regina bartlett March 18, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I am not a racist. I can't go back to Europe as I was born in the United States and I am a hillbilly (campesina) from West Virginia. I grew up respecting others and to care for the sick and the elderly. I speak Spanish fluently and have many Mexican and Latino friends and in my family I have 2 Brothers-in-Law who are Mexican. In the future, I will be more careful of my remarks on this forum. However, beating and robbing a handicapped person still is despicable to me regardless of the race or ethnic heritage of the perpetrator.
Laurentino Arellano May 22, 2012 at 05:04 AM
i agree on one thing mrs Barlett...this guy is scum and should be punished accordingly.but your comment "or send him back to Mexico"...all i can say is WOW!..tell me something mrs. Barlett..are there really people like you still around???i hope your but the few "vermin"left ..have a special day mrs. Barlett:)
angelica May 31, 2012 at 05:58 PM
i agree with Mr. Arellano, I cant believe that Ms. Barlett made a mean comment like that and than tryed to clean it up by stating that she has mexicanos and latinos in her family...
Cathy P. May 31, 2012 at 07:25 PM
I really don't enjoy these comments anymore. Nothing like drudging up something from 3 months ago .......


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