Molestation suspect caught by traffic stop

Written by
Pauline Repard
3:06 p.m., April 12, 2012

ESCONDIDO — A 34-year-old man wanted on several child molestation charges was caught Wednesday when he made the mistake of changing lanes illegally in view of an Escondido police officer.

Police said the motorist gave the officer a fake name and birth date. The officer asked a federal Immigration and Customs officer to help identify the man, which eventually led to discovery of the warrant, police Lt. Mike Loarie said Thursday.

The motorist was pulled over on North Broadway shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday. The ICE officer went to the traffic stop and the driver admitted he was in the country illegally and was once arrested in Escondido more than a decade ago, Loarie said.

He said the driver was brought to police headquarters for further investigation. The ICE officer accessed federal records not available to the city police officer, and learned that the driver’s name was Antonio Cervantes Sarmiento.

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department had a $600,000 arrest warrant on record, issued for Sarmiento on March 19. Sarmiento was booked on five counts of lewd acts on a child under age 14. He also was cited for allegedly making the illegal lane change, driving without a license and giving false information to police, Loarie said.

Molestation suspect caught by traffic stop |