Manteca Police arrested a 20-year-old felon in possession of an AK-47 series semi-automatic weapon in the parking lot at Northgate Park Friday during the noon hour.
The parking lot is directly across the street from the Neil Hafley School campus as well as bordering the McFall School that houses special education programs for the San Joaquin County Office of Education.
The arrest and confiscation of the weapon came 22 months after a fist fight led to 16 shots being fired at Northgate Park forcing the East Union High softball team that was practicing there to run for cover. No one was hurt during the firing of rounds in April of 2018. That incident prompted the Manteca City Council to install surveillance camera at Northgate Park and other public gathering areas.
Detectives assigned to the MPD Streets Crime Unit on Friday at 12:17 p.m. were conducting patrols in north Manteca when they observed a suspicious vehicle parked in the parking lot of Northgate Park that was found to be in violation of a vehicle code violation.
Detectives contacted the driver and it appeared he was attempting to discard items under his seat. Detectives detained the driver and determined he was on probation. A search of his vehicle was conducted due to his being on searchable probation. During the search, detectives located an AK-47 style assault pistol resting in the back seat covered by a T-shirt.
The driver — Manteca resident Juan Pablo Quintero Garibay — was ultimately arrested for possessing the firearm as it was determined he was a felon and in unlawful possession of the firearm.
He also was booked on other charges including possessing a firearm in a school zone.