HALF MOON BAY -- A pair of suspected gang members were arrested this week after a Wednesday incident that involved men hanging out in a shopping center parking lot and threatening random passers-by with handguns, sheriff's officials said.
San Mateo County deputies were called to the parking lot of the strip mall on San Mateo Road between Main Street and Highway 1 shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday on reports of gang members causing a disturbance. Numerous callers said at least two of the men were armed with pistols, which they had brandished at several people who walked by.
Arriving deputies learned that one of the men had run across the highway, and one of them checked a nearby residential neighborhood and saw someone matching a description. The deputy also recognized the man as Jose Monroy, 32, of El Granada.
"There are people in town that you deal with more often than not, and this was someone that they knew from prior contact," San Mateo County sheriff's spokeswoman Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt said.
Monroy took off running. The deputy gave chase but was impeded when a pit bull that was with the suspect came at him. The deputy shot and wounded the dog.
"The dog was rushing at him in a manner to make the deputy afraid for his safety," Rosenblatt said. "No one wants to shoot a dog if they don't have to."
The suspect got away, and the dog was taken to the SPCA for treatment.
Witnesses identified the second suspected gunman as Ricardo Avila, 29, of Half Moon Bay. He was arrested by Daly City police during a traffic stop Thursday evening. Detectives tracked Monroy to a San Bruno residence, where he was arrested Friday.
The men face charges of brandishing a firearm, making criminal threats and participating in a criminal street gang. Monroy also faces charges of resisting arrest.
Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.