Family: Sheriff Failed to Protect Ex-Sailor from Shooting

Family and friends have said that the San Diego County Sheriff's Department should have done more to keep Victor Saucedo safe. A sheriff's deputy recommended he file a restraining order in April.

Patrol cars surrounded Victor Saucedo's Imperial Beach apartment building Tuesday, but it wasn't the first time the sheriff's department was called to his home.

Before his shooting death, a local sheriff’s deputy suggested Saucedo get a restraining order against his ex-girlfriend, who now stands accused of first-degree murder.

The deputy suggested a restraining order April 18 around 1 a.m. after peanut butter was smeared on Saucedo's front door and windows.

"It can be argued whether or not a restraining order would have stopped that situation. But at least if there’s a restraining order on file, we could arrest her for coming near him,” said Lt. Marco Garmo, who runs the Imperial Beach substation.

Emergency protective orders can be filed in some cases, he said, but even if an order was filed, beyond calling 911, there may not be much deputies can do to stop a determined shooter.

"If someone wants to shoot you, they're going to shoot you," he said.

Saucedo's property was vandalized eight times and reported to sheriff deputies five times, said Lt. Glenn Giannantonio with the sheriff's Homicide Unit.

His car tires were slashed twice, his apartment was egged multiple times and a jar was thrown through his window.

Since it could not be proven that she was responsible, no charges were ever filed against Bray, Giannantonio said, which may be the reason why he never got a restraining order.

"Him telling a judge 'I think she 's doing it' is probably not enough to get a judge to issue a restraining order," he said.

A memorial service was held Wednesday evening at the foot of the pier to remember the life of Saucedo, a Navy veteran who was shot Tuesday and killed in his apartment next to the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center.

Hours later his ex-girlfriend 24-year-old Vegas Bray was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Bray will be arraigned Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the South Bay Courthouse in Chula Vista.

Stephanie Stratton, the maternal grandmother of Saucedo's 6-year-old son Jeremiah, said "the police didn't do a thing to help him."

"Now, this child has to grow up without his father in his life. That is the saddest thing when you wake up in the morning and tell him that his daddy is not going to pick him up.", Stratton told Fox 5 and a crowd of about 60 people. A second candlelight vigil is scheduled Thursday at 6 p.m.

Friends also said they believe the sheriff's department didn't take Saucedo seriously because it was a woman harassing a man.

Sheriff records state that Saucedo did not file a restraining order.

Stratton told U-T San Diego that Saucedo got a life insurance policy two weeks ago and tried to get a restraining order, but he was told he didn't have enough evidence.

Restraining orders are approved or denied by the San Diego County Superior Court. Individuals who are under a restraining order are not allowed to posses a firearm.

Garmo said he wasn’t sure if Saucedo was ever physically intimidated by the woman, Vegas Bray.

“He was a pretty big guy, and she was pretty small,” Garmo told IB Patch.

Still, he emphasized that all domestic disturbances are treated the same.

"I can't tell you how many times we take women to jail for domestic violence," he said. "We don't differentiate, whether it's a gay couple or female on male, it's all the same to us."

Discrimination can threaten a deputy's job and livelihood, Garmo said.

"There's no deputy sheriff out there that's not going to arrest a woman or not take it seriously," he said.

Libi Uremovic October 18, 2012 at 10:53 PM
i was under the impression that she was in the apartment and they got into a fight when she shot him.....this makes it sound like she stalked and killed him...which is two very different situations.... does anyone know if she was 'invited' into the apartment?
Erika Lowery October 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Are there any details on tonight's vigil?
Salinde October 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM
How were the Sheriffs Department suppposed to protect him? The article makes it seem they recommended he file a restraining order and that he didn't follow through. They can't force him...also a restraining order is only a piece of paper. People only obey them if they are willing. The police have to have some reasonable doubt to arrest someone , meaning some sort of proof. The guy speculated it was her trashing his place, but the article doesn't say whether or not he could prove it. The police can't throw people in jail because you want them there, there are a lot of bad people out there and theirs nothing the Police can do. Anyway, my condolences to the family ....take care....don't depend on the police to fight your battles. If someone wants to hurt you a piece of paper will not protect you nor the police ...
ripvic October 19, 2012 at 12:52 AM
#1 she wasnt invited in this wasnt a fight gone bad she pre meditated this #2 they were broken up for months she stalked him.he changed his # several times changed the color of his car changed its not his fault the police didnt take him serious he physically saw her vandalise his home an car she was a fatal attraction
Salinde October 19, 2012 at 02:40 PM
ripvic, That's all speculation at this point. It is his fault, if it was that serious he could have taken out a restraining order against her and didn't. It would have given the Police more power in dealing with her. In this country you are still innocent until proven guilty. He had called the Police but couldn't offer up and hard evidence or they would have arrested her, for stalking and for vandalism. My car was recently hit while it was in a parking lot, it was damaged, I saw it happen. But, I was the only one, people heard it being hit but never saw the car invovled. I called the police immeadiately! Since there were no witnesses other than myself, they stated there was little they could do about it. I strongly disagree with this approach by law enforcement, but .... put it into persepective, if the police arrested everyone that reported a crime and pointed a finger at someone with no proof, 3/4's of the US population would be in jail. I'm going through a divorce, a process server entered my home, just walked into my house and served me the papers, he wasnt invited in, my door was shut(not locked) but opened the door, walked in, looked at me, set the papers on the couch, turned around walked out, closing the door. I called the police, the process server said nope never did it, police cant do anything about it, my word against his. So, as long as the woman denied what was happening, nothing the police can do.
iblocal October 19, 2012 at 03:13 PM
my prayers go out to his son and the family.
John Galt October 19, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Sorry for the son and family. Sheriff could do nothing. Protection is a self responsibility. Twenty-twenty hindsight for the education of the readers: Because he was renting, he should have moved on to base or behind a gated apartment. He should have had a PO Box for is mail, and made some effort to protect himself from this nut job. California law under Senate Bill 782 would have allowed him to break any lease agreement. This does not dismiss the Tenant’s financial obligations to the landlord. If anyone is being perused, stalked, or harmed, get away and stay away. Also a note to women – if he is a jerk, you are better off without him! Additionally men and women, if you have kids, you don’t need a boy/girl friend; raise your kids.
Libi Uremovic October 19, 2012 at 04:53 PM
''...Protection is a self responsibility...." then why are the citizens of this town charged $15,000/day from the sheriff's dept? maybe the citizens need to take our $1/2 million a month we waste on an agency that ....'can do nothing'.....and get some service....
B R Lt October 19, 2012 at 06:10 PM
It says in the article that his restraining order was denied! Really people? Just because she's a female she did not do it. I live in the same apartments as him. A restraining order would have made a world of difference
John Galt October 19, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Temporary Restraining Orders are easy to get. Permanent Restraining Orders are often denied by the courts because the requester has not proven their case to the court. It takes more than one circumstance to occur (unless violent) for the courts to act. There is a lot of latitude within the courts for this. Also, once a restraining order is issued against someone, they lose some of their civil rights, such as having a gun in the home, even if it is owned by someone else. This means the level of proof that someone needs a restraining order against them must meet a minimum threshold. My experience here is not being a lawyer, but I have written them for other people. Process is not that difficult.
John Galt October 19, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Libi - yes protection is a self responsibility. Do you lock your door at night? What if someone breaks into your home, do you run to escape or ask them nicely to wait while you call 911? What are you going to do? If a small fire starts on the stove, do you put it out or call 911? What are you going to do? Yes Libi, people are responsible for their own saftey.
Salinde October 20, 2012 at 02:55 AM
As John stated Temp orders are easy to get, women use them more often then men, and quite honestly the courts believe they are widely abused. Anyone can make an accusation against anyone imaginary or real and the top order is given for 30 days. At the time of the hearing under state law, the person requesting it has to present proof, not their word, a witness will work that was there, not one who heard it from a friend. But, they can be cross-examined, police reports anything. If they have none, then it's just there word against yours and the a judge will throw it out. Folks, you have to have proof! And yes Libi the first step in self security is up to you! It's not hard to get the tmp order....yes more of a challenge to get the perm order, but the police can't help you unless your willing to help yourself. I feel for the guy and his family, it's sad all around ...
Justice Love October 21, 2012 at 07:51 PM
She did not have a key and she spent the previous night with him.
Justice Love October 21, 2012 at 07:53 PM
If she wasn't invited in how did she spend the previous night with him?
John Galt October 22, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Cali-1 Or the woman was just a nut case. Women just need to be honest... BS - Turned around your statement says that women lie which is why they get beat up. Stupid comment.
Fayette (Davis) Driskell October 22, 2012 at 09:46 PM
well said Ms/Mr Salide...
Fayette (Davis) Driskell October 22, 2012 at 09:56 PM
John, I totally agree with you..."if ya don't like the water, don't step in it!!"..with NO witnesses, at any of these happenings, its a he said/she said case. The police have nothing to go on..THERE HAS TO BE PROOF..S U B S T A N C I A L proof...if he was raising his child as a single daddy, there should have been more attention to his safety & well-being, so...in my opinion..the papers should have been signed..its too bad this baby has to grow up without his daddy because of negilgence on ones part & thinking..but, it happens..but don't throw the police under the bus..I believe they attempted to, & did do their job...
Fayette (Davis) Driskell October 22, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Cali-1, not sure where you are coming from with your statement, but being a woman, I can give my views too..there are women, just like men, that feel they HAVE to have TOTAL control of everything, everyone, & in every situation. If they are NOT given this control, they will TAKE it..they do not care who gets in the way, how they hurt the other person(s), or what means they use to obtain their motive..they are after CONTROL..to me, it sounds like this young woman wears these shoes quite well....maybe she was jealous of his son, maybe she wanted to get married, the list of "maybe's" & "what if's" goes on & on..the fact still remains...she KILLED a human being, DEPRIVED a young son of his parent, & now...she must pay the price for her game of control at the hand of someone else being in TOTAL CONTROL...& oh so young to learn such a hard lesson..May the Lord watch over & bless the grandparents that now have to raise a small boy into manhood..no...Cali, life isn't always fair, but she made her bed..now..she can lay in it...
justice will be served October 22, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Coming from a close friend of VIC we all know how crazy she was because he would tell all of us everything she did when she did it. She was jealous of his relationship with his sons mom and didn't want them hanging out. People that knew him and his situation know she is guilty! I hope she rots in hell!!!!!
Fayette (Davis) Driskell October 22, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Sir, I am so sorry for your loss of a very close friend..I am sure there will be a whole squadron of them. Sometimes the loss of a close friend is just as determental to that of a relative, not to say of a military man that was serving his country, giving his life, now, had his life taken. Yes, jealousy has a hard covering, & those who contain it are lost souls...keep the memories of him in your heart & foremost in your mind..it will get you thru this & help you to forgive..not forget..but for his sons sake, forgive...
Justice will prevail October 24, 2012 at 10:46 PM
@ Fayette there was no negligence on Victors part. He wasn't a single Daddy he was a co-parent. One who got along well with his baby's mom. His son was his world and I'm sure he continues to be. So for all of you who like to speculate and say protection is a self responsibility he was just doing that. He would never resort to violence especially towards a female. He was also moving soon but you dont hear her telling that part in her story do you. Yeah cause not everyone knew for the same reason so he could protect himself, his son & friends. You should all know there is no worse fury than that of a SCORN JEALOUS Woman. Plus instead of assuming he wasn't protecting himself let the court play out and the evidence proof she MURDERED Vic. She is still alive and able to give her side of the story (bunch of lies from a delusional psycho) But Vic wasn't given the chance to give his side of the story. And I'm sorry but Victor did NOT deserve not one bit to be executed cause that's exactly what she did. If it was "self defense" like her mother has stated then how did she find the strength to reload the gun? I mean she had already shot him 6 times!
karma October 26, 2012 at 03:03 PM
She will be served! 50 YEARS to LIFE!!!! WE LOVE YOU VICTOR <3 I know Victor will finally rest in peace once she is convicted! It won't bring him back, but JUSTICE needs to be served! & will be!!
Chico&The Man October 26, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Trial are you kidding me shell get the max sentence supreme idiot... “Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.”
Yo April 25, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Issues are brought amongs the person or persons. Leaving the responsibly to an Agency who deals not just with one problem but millions is not accepting responsibly for his or her actions. There r resourses out there for all citizens to seek if needed. Yes, if u need professional advise or if advise is given to u, it's the person responsibly to take action. For those who blame law enforcement for doing nothing about this situation is wrong. So the next time u may need help or find yr self dialing 911, do yr self a favor by turning away, hang up the phone or contact a criminal to deal with yr problem!! For those that r against Law Enforcement - wait and see when Justice is served for Victor. Let this Monday rot in hell as she will...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something