A State Patrol Sergeant says a Wisconsin man who slipped through the system for 20 years is now in custody.
37 year old Salvador Villalobos is in the Dane County Jail. He was pulled over for a traffic violation in Stevens Point. Stevens Point police credit a boost in patrol with finally catching him.
Two decades ago, Salvador Villalobos was charged with three felonies. “He had first degree sexual assault, forth degree sexual assault, and false imprisonment,” said Sgt. Rhae Stertz. Wisconsin State Patrol officers say Villalobos failed to show up to court then. Police hadn't seen him since. Finally, on Friday, the State Patrol pulled him over for a traffic violation in Stevens Point.
“We stopped the people for any traffic violation. Speeding, seat belts, equipment violations. Those are the most common,” said Sgt. Stertz. Villalobos was arrested and taken to jail. Police say this arrest came as part of a larger push to catch criminals. Stevens Point Police and Wisconsin State Patrol teamed up and stopped more than 70 cars in six hours. “Our goal was to focus more on the criminal violations... to get criminal violators off the streets,” said Sgt. Stertz.
But this effort attracted some criticism. Some people say police went overboard. “I think it was way overdone. A lot of people are just trying to drive at night, trying to get where they are going. There's a lot more stuff they need to be taking care of in Stevens Point,” said Kristine Frankiewicz, who lives in Stevens Point. But others side with police. “I don't see it as a bad thing because if you're not doing anything wrong, then you don't have anything to hide,” said Donald Ciseski, who is also a resident of Stevens Point.
Police say this particular stop was well worth their efforts, as it turned into a major arrest. “It was a success. We got a 20 year criminal off the street,” said Sgt. Stertz.
Sgt. Stertz says Villalobos now faces another charge – obstructing justice – after giving false information when he was pulled over.